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Arts 2015, 4(2), 68-74;

Is It Art or Knowledge? Deconstructing Australian Aboriginal Creative Making

The Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University, Geelong Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Victoria, 3220 Australia
Received: 26 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 12 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection World Rock Art)
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Australian Aboriginal symbols are visual forms of knowledge that express cultural intellect. Being classified by a Western interpretation of “art” devalues thousands of years of generational knowledge systems, where visual information has been respected, appreciated and valued. This article highlights how Aboriginal creativity has little concept of aesthetical value, but is a cultural display of meaning relating to Creational periods, often labelled as The Dreamings. With over 350 different Aboriginal Nations in Australia, this article focuses of the Dharug Nation, located around the northern Sydney area of New South Wales. The Dharug term for the Creational period is Gunyalungalung—traditional ritualized customary lores (laws). These symbols are permanently located within the environment on open rock surfaces, caves and markings on trees. Whilst some symbols are manmade, others are made by Creational ancestral beings and contain deep story lines of information in sacredness. Therefore, creative imagery engraved or painted on rock surfaces are forms of conscious narratives that emphasise deep insight. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aboriginal Art; Australia; visual knowledge; culture; traditional; symbols Aboriginal Art; Australia; visual knowledge; culture; traditional; symbols

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cameron, E. Is It Art or Knowledge? Deconstructing Australian Aboriginal Creative Making. Arts 2015, 4, 68-74.

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