Hunting + Gathering
Symbols (Representations) + Languages
Variety of languages
Tribes + Nomadic lifestyle
Transient living arrangements
Spiritual Relation to the land
The U shape reflects the mark left behind by a person. Groups of U shapes would indicate a meeting place for aboriginal people sitting around a campsite.
The gender of the aboriginal people is determined by what is associated with this symbol. For example spears would indicate a group of men.
In this painting Bush Tucker Dreaming by artist June Sultan Napanga she depicts iconographical symbols of woman (U), coolamon and digging stick. This indicates aboriginal women gathering aboriginal food
Tracks whether human or animal are shown by the tracks left behind in the sand and are generally represented as an aerial view. As examples:
A snake is represented by a curvy line
A porcupine by a series of short parallel lines
A dingo (Australian native dog) by a set a paw prints
A lizard or goanna by two parallel lines with small prints on either side made by feet
In this painting Janet Spencer Nungurrayi is representing her Wardapi Jukurrpa (Goanna Dreaming) using the tracks left by the goanna.
Concentric circles, straight lines can be depicted in many ways and the combination of these symbols can tell more complex Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories. A series of concentric circles represent meeting place, campsite or waterhole. A series of parallel lines represent a journey path, sandhills (Tali), a creek or a river bed In this painting Tingari Cycle by artist Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri depicts aboriginal symbols to indicate the journeys taken by the Tingari ancestors, as they travelled and stopped to create sacred ceremonial sites.
Wavy lines may indicate running water, a series of creek beds or sand hills. In this painting Inland Sea by artist Dorothy Napangardi, illustrating watercourses, ancestral tracks, sand hills at a significant sacred site, Mina Mina (Women's Dreaming) at Lake MacKay, north-west of Yuendumu region in Central Australia. Dots are one of the conventional symbols that are widely used in the Central and Western desert art regions in Central Australia. This art form being