Aboriginal Art Symbols

Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Maltechniken
Aboriginal Artefakte
Aboriginal Artists
Aboriginal Dreamtime
Aboriginal Flagge
Aboriginal Sprachen

Aboriginal Karte

Aboriginal Medizin
Stolen Generation
Aboriginal Symbole

Bumerang Wurfanleitung

Kevin Rudd's sorry speech


 Aboriginal Art Symbols


From the beginning of time, the Yorta Yorta have told Dreamtime stories to each generation in order to keep the stories in our culture alive and to educate our people about our place on earth. Stories are told about the stars, planets, the land, animals, bush tucker, hunting and ancestors (Totemic Spirits), through paintings, carvings, dance and song. Aboriginal Art symbols are used on all forms of Aboriginal Art to help tell the stories of their history and culture.

Map of Aboriginal Art Symbols (Koori People / Yorta Yorta - Victoria Australia)


Jinta Desert Art small logo

To recognize most elements in Central Australian paintings  the viewer must know the site and the Dreaming depicted in the painting. They always refer to sites where mythical activity is believed to have occurred and where ancestral power still remains.

Artists employ a basic set of symbols, such as dots, concentric circles and curved and straight lines. All have multiple meanings depending upon their context. Despite this there are some standard design elements.

Concentric circles usually represent campsites or rock holes. Straight lines between circles illustrate the routes travelled between camps or places. Wavy lines across a painting usually is water or rain. A small "U" shaped figure represents people sitting and straight lines next to them are weapons or domestic implements. (see Iconography page for more detail)

Tracks, whether human or animal, are often depicted in plain view as they appear on the ground. Lizards and snakes are frequently shown as one would see them from above. Significant plant species are generally shown in a stylised but figurative manner and the dotted primary motifs and backgrounds have become the hallmark of the acrylic movement.

All stories and information provided about the icons are public, meaning that all can read and understand these elements of the Aboriginal culture. Many of the icons also relate to sacred ceremonies, but no reference is made to this.

Janet Long Nakamarra one of our talented gallery artist's seen below painted all the iconography symbols and supplied us with all the details seen in this feature.  


Bush Turkey
Bush Turkey
Budgerigar small
footprints small
Frog small
Witchety Grubs
Witchetty Grub
Honey Ant small
Bush Potato small
Bush Potato
Bush tomato small
Bush Tomato
Campsite small
Hunting small
Kangaroo small
Men Hunting small
Men Hunting
Milky Way small
Milky Way
Star small
Snake small
Thunder and Lighting small
Thunder and Lightning
Water hole version 2 small
Water Hole
water hole small
Water Hole
Woman's ceremony
Women's Ceremony

Aboriginal Art - Symbols


01   innedi tree (small red seeds)
02  witchety grub
03  2 men (each symbol represents 1 man)
04  foot prints
05  rainbow-cloud or sand hill
06   women cooking
07  women sitting with coolamon & digging stick
08  boomerang
09  bush tomato-wild plum
10  honey ants
11  women
12  stone axe
13  emu tracks
14  emu mother earth
15  dreaming trails
16  coolamon 
17  wild apples
18  feeding kangaroo tracks
19  child


20  coolamon with carrying handle
21  camp site-stone well-rock hole-breast-fire-hole or fruit
22  water-rainbow-snake-lightning-cliff-honey store
23  man
24  men sitting with boomerangs & spear
25  spinifex
26  spear thrower
27  dingo tracks
28  woman & man or 2 persons back to back
29  killer boomerang
30  woomera
31  spirit ancestor
32  tribes
33  yam
34  lizard tracks
35  2 men sitting by a water hole
36  water hole
37  returning boomerang
38  4 bladed boomerang used to keep ducks & birds down over water to run them into nets set across water
39  community
40  dreaming track with emus. earth mother energy rising
41  bush onion
42  personsitting
43  possum tracks
44  underground water running
44  water hole & dry creek bed connecting to next water hole
45  ducks flying around water hole
46  music ( clap ) sticks
47  goaanna tracks. (goannas are snake bite immune)
48  star 
49  bush banana
50  sand goanna
51  traveling sign with circles as resting place
52  rain
53  moving kangaroo tracks
54  4 women sitting with digging sticks
55  clouds-boomerangs-windbreaks
56  sun father destiny








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