Aboriginal Art

The Aboriginal people are the native Australian people. They live by hunting, fishing when possible and gathering natural produce.

They stay in small groups and travel across large areas living off the land as they move.

All Aboriginal paintings have a meaning. Many of them are about their dreams and beliefs and are called dream maps. The paintings can represent many things such as

the sun, rivers and water journeys. Their work is usually symmetrical and is made up of many different patterns and symbols which all have different meanings. Many of these paintings also tell a story. The colours they use are all made from the natural materials around them and represent what they see.

  • What colours can you see? Why do you think those colours have been used?
  • What shapes can you see?
  • Using the chart below can you identify any of the symbols?
  • Aboriginal artwork often tells a story. What story do you think is being told in this picture?
  • Can you find 5 examples of patterns that have been used in the paintings?