Aboriginal art is one of the oldest expressions of art in the world. The aborigines had used soil and rocks to make these ground designs, carvings, and paintings. The artwork done by the aborigines includes wood carving, paintings on leaves, sculpting, rock carving, ceremonial clothing and sand painting. Their art is very closely linked to rituals or religious ceremonies. All these designs that are painted or drawn on rocks and caves have a story behind them. Most of these paintings include various symbols which have different meanings, and the artworks represent a brilliant communication pattern among the aborigines.
Wandjina Dreamtime Story:
Images of Wandjina are painted on the rock galleries and in caves of the north-west region of the Kimberley in Western Australia. Wandjina is marked in red and white ochre and is a powerful Rain Maker spirit. These paintings are traditionally repainted every decade to make sure that the image is kept fresh and lively.
Wandjina is a creation spirit and is associated with rain. Its body is shown to be covered with dots and represents rainfall. There are ceremonial dances done to pay homage to the rain spirit. The face of the spirit seems to describe the climatic feature, and the eyes are said to represent the thunders. There are brush marks on the body which represent raindrops. If the artwork includes only the head and the shoulder of Wandjina, then it means that the spirit is moving across the sky in the form of a storm or cloud.
Yarla Bush Yam Dreaming:
Many ceremonies are associated with Bush Yam in Central Australia. These ceremonies celebrate the importance of native food and recognize its ritual importance. The art represents the promotion of abundance. It also reflects the traditional obligations to share food, so that everyone has enough.
The Ancestors of the Yarla had a conflict with the Ancestors of the Wapirti white Yam. The fight was over the rights to the site where the Yams were created at Yumurrpa. They were fighting over who will get the access to the food. The painting was done to tell people that they need to share food otherwise there will be violence and disruption in the society.
Alpar Seed Dreaming:
Many varieties of seeds are collected and harvested in central Australia. Many ceremonies are done during this time. One of the seeds that are commonly gathered is called the Goosefoot or Green Crumbleweed plant. The herb has a heavy sent and is quite sticky; it grows well in the Mulga tree and is found in plenty in the Utopia Region, northeast of Alice Springs. The herb produces small flowers which form long spikes and looks like the tail of a rat. Since the seeds are very sticky, they do not shed as soon as they mature. So the aborigines have to collect the seeds once the plant has dried out. The seed is rich in protein and has a low fibre content.