Yolngu Art Analysis

Decent Essays

The concept of the Dreaming is inextricably connected to Aboriginal relationships with the land, as the land is the physical medium through which the Dreaming is lived, and communicated, which each person exists timelessly. Dodson further emphasises this as he states, “For the Aboriginal people, land is a dynamic notion… land is the generation point of existence, the spirit from which Aboriginal existence comes”. This portrays that the land is of prime importance for Aboriginal people, it is their “human mother”, and they respect it like a human person, like a spirit. Like a mother provides for her children, the land provides both physical and spiritual necessities for Aboriginal people. These necessities include; shelter, resources, nourishment, …show more content…

Each of these forms is a way of conveying a story, and interrelates with Aboriginal relationships with the land. The art created by Aboriginal people contains spiritual power, and the features of the artwork links to dreaming stories and ancestral beings. The ‘Yolngu’ clan interpret art as a mystery, that only those of the clan understand the true meaning of the artwork. ‘Yolngu’ art encompasses encoded messages and when an individual moves through life they will have more access to the meaning of the artwork. Consequently, by maintaining this mystery there is a sense of guarding and respect towards the artwork, which is centred on an individual’s journey of the landscape. Like the land, individuals do not have ownership of the artwork the artwork owns them. This is how the concept of the dreaming overlaps with and is inextricably connected to the Aboriginal relationship with the land, as it is the elder’s responsibility of a clan to pass on the unseen spirit of the world to the younger …show more content…

Kinship is determined by both family relationships and a person’s totem thus crossing paths with ancestral spirits, the land and the Dreaming. Accordingly, being part of a kinship group emphasises a sense of belonging and responsibility within a clan in taking care of one another. For example, in Aboriginal religion an Aunty may not be blood related but she is an Aunty to many within her clan. The land is the foundation in which Aboriginal people come together, that being so, “It is, then, the land which is really speaking – offering, to those who can understand its language, an explanative discourse about how it came to be as it is now…” Thus, Aboriginal people constantly teach each other on how to be true stewards of the

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