Art in the purposeless sense, that is only for the purposes of “edification” is only part of the art of the Aborigines from. She and most of all was an important expression of religious feeling Aboriginal art is as old as human existence and culture on the Australian continent, visual art finds its expression in cave and rock paintings, rock engravings, (transient) sand paintings, bark paintings and carvings and decoration of the living and dead human bodies. Ochre from the beginning was an important part of this art.
The paintings and engravings show spirits, humans, animals and mythical creatures, plants and land formations. Religious art is seen as part of the spiritual heritage of the (animal) ancestor, they may often be seen only by initiates and reveals its importance only these. The European observers, it often makes it very difficult to understand the meaning of a work of art completely. Because some paintings, especially those in sand, only men or women were subject to even understand Aboriginal art is not such a lot.
Some facts are also accessible to the Western eye, or for understanding important:
Unusually for the Western eye, animal and human figures in the “X-style”: Not only the outer shape of an animal is shown, but also the interior, so the skeleton and organs – not necessarily in the right proportions.
Colors and characters often have traditional meanings: The dunke ocher symbolized, for example, the turbid waters of billabongs (water balance) in the dry season, U-shapes are sitting on the floor for men or women, etc.
Many sites are created from the time when in Europe the world-famous cave paintings at Altamira and Lascaux. The paintings at such sites, however, are not necessarily as old as they were “keepers” refreshed again and again and sometimes still are. Sometimes motifs are also painted on each other.
Artists are in secular art very innovative and willing to take on Western styles. A familiar example is the Künster Albert Namatjira, who with his “Burt’s Bluff” became world famous, but eventually to his homelessness among indigenous culture and Western civilization – and typically at the alcohol – perished.
The flexibility of today’s artists is evident not only in the acquisition of Western-style, but also in the material used: For reasons of durability and availability using Aboriginal place today mostly ocher acrylic paints!
What is in central Australia today painted on walls and bark, was once made only after a ceremony in the sand and destroyed.
Painted art and wood carvings with their typical motifs are today an important source of income wherever Aboriginal people are involved in the economy of the whites.
The music of the Aborigines has become known in recent years to a wider audience, since European musicians also took interest in the didjeridu: There is a 1.5m long, “primitive” wooden wind instrument with traditional motifs (dragons , fishing, etc.) is decorated and has often crafted from beeswax mouthpiece. Not bad for a didgeridoo is a stem or branch that has already been largely hollowed out by termites. The interior is then smoothed with a pole so far that has enough resonance is generated. Since the inner and outer dimensions of the instrument are not standardized, the sound is very individual. This property is further enhanced by the fact that the wooden tube holes or other technical devices are missing, so that the sound is produced only by the player who can emulate, for example, while playing a jumping kangaroo or a dingo barking. A master of the didgeridoo mastered the circular breathing , at the same time he blows and breathes.
Besides this, the culture of Aboriginal wind instrument known only to the clap sticks , batons, the human voice and didgeridus accompany rhythmic. Since the two instruments and the vocals during festive performances (corroborees) hours are used, such music may seem to Europeans, not least because of their lack of language skills very boring.