Aboriginal Art in the Northern Territory

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The Top End of Australias Northern Territory is home to a wealth of Aboriginal art that reflects the spirit...
The Top End of Australias Northern Territory is home to a wealth of Aboriginal art that reflects the spirit of the people and the intense connection they have with the land. From ancient dot paintings derived from drawings in the desert sand through to more contemporary bark paintings, each piece offers a glimpse into the rich history of the Aboriginal people and the Dreamtime stories of the worlds oldest living culture thought to be more than 50,000 years old. Aboriginal artwork was traditionally used as a teaching tool to pass on knowledge regarding ownership, responsibilities, beliefs and practices. It revealed a range of ancestral stories that had been passed down through generations, explaining connections with the land, tribal customs and traditional law. Today Aboriginal art has firmly made its way onto the international indigenous art scene. Referred as the Dreamtime, these stories are the gateway to understanding the rich history and beliefs of the Aboriginal people. Exploring Aboriginal art in the Territorys Top End will take you across wetlands and billabongs, along spectacular sandstone escarpments to the woodland savannah country. Take up the trail in Darwin and see the stunning collections at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory before browsing the numerous galleries. Home to various Aboriginal language groups for more than 40,000 years, Kakadu National Park houses one of the worlds largest collections of Aboriginal rock art. The art sites were integral to Kakadu achieving its World Heritage status. A visit is best started at the Bowali Cultural Centre near Jabiru or the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Cooinda. Arnhem Land, one of the largest Aboriginal Reserves in Australia, is a region also rich with Aboriginal culture and art. This remote region features several world renowned Aboriginal art centre including Injalak Arts, Maningrida Arts and Buku Larrngay Mulka at Yirrkala. All offer opportunities to meet artists who create unique pandanus mats and baskets, bark paintings and distinctive carvings while experiencing their unique community lifestyle. Whether visiting the world-class galleries of Darwin; the renowned rock art sites in the National Parks or seeing the remote Aboriginal communities of Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands, each trip will represent a unique and exciting experience.
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