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Aboriginal art. Australian Aboriginal art.
This consists largely of paintings and carvings on rock, carvings on body ornaments and cult objects such as churingas and bull roarers, and bark paintings. Abstract styles, e.g. spiral designs, and naturalistic styles are found. Human figures and animals, such as fish, turtles and kangaroos, connected with the hunt or with totemic beliefs, are depicted. Melanesian influences through New Guinea may account for the squatting figure motifs, rich colouring and other aspects of paintings in N. Arnhem Land and N.W. Australia. The huge wondjina ancestor-skull pictures depict dark-haloed heads without mouths. Animals are shown realistically and also in 'X-ray' style, where the skeleton and organs of interest to the hunter are depicted schematically within the body outline. There is a rich oral tradition of myth, relating the ancestral time, 'The Dreaming', to the present in an unbroken continuum.

 


Aboriginal hollowed log coffin

 

 
 

 

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