Many people, especially if they’re not from Australia, New Zealand or from some of the islands in the region tend to see aborigines as weird people with dark ink all over their bodies, aggressive dance moves, scary facial expressions and a sort of passion for showing their tongues in loud manners.
While much of these perceptions are not exactly inaccurate they tend to be oversimplifications of that culture. The aborigines are a richer nation than many of us suppose they are, and to prove a little bit of that claim the reader will find below a short list encompassing some types of aboriginal art. The list will deal only with their main forms of arts, the ones that are the center of their culture, the ones than are the very foundations of their life as a community.
Strip them out of these arts and they cease to be who they are.
Another important reminder: As it’s clear above, I’ll use the Maori as examples for they are the ones that first comes to mind of people researching this kind of theme and they are the most recognizable aborigine group there is in Oceania. It suffices to say that all aborigines in general present, in their own way, the forms of art that’ll be enlisted below.
You don’t need to like rugby, just wait for the start of a game in which the New Zealand national rugby team is in and watch. I mean it, go there and research something like “New Zealand rugby team dance”, watch them pour fears and doubts upon the hearts and minds of their adversaries. Impressive, isn’t it? Well that’s one of the many types of art aborigines have. Keep in mind those people used to be fierce warriors, strong minded individuals not afraid of the dark world death appears to be to a great deal of modern people. If you’re having trouble understanding what I’m trying to say here just remember Herman Melville’s Queequeg from Moby Dick. You’ll certainly get the picture.
The Body Paintings:
To paint one’s body like that is a form of tribal art, no discussions about this, right? Those are not mere paintings, those are symbols of bravery, those are symbols of defiance, of loyalty to the people, of respect to the traditions that made them what they were and still are; those paintings are symbols of nature’s raw power. In other words, those paintings are pure works of art, the likes of one we see less and less every passing year.
Those beats are the beats of the hearts of warriors ready to kill or be killed on the battleground. When one stops to truly listen to the Maori while they’re executing their music, often accompanied by the dance mentioned above, it is hard not to feel you’re witnessing some kind of ancient tribal ritual that bestows courage or fear, wonder or panic, elevation or fall. It all depends on the heart and intentions of the one witnessing that act that seems to have a sort of sacred aura around it.