Kakadu Rock Art: Another Twenty Thousand Years would be good





Kakadu Rock Art: Another Twenty Thousand Years would be good

Kakadu’s rock art reveals the history of the aboriginal people over the years. It is one of the oldest forms of rock art in the world. It has paintings that are up to 20,000 years old. The rock art reveals how people lived at the time. It shows their associations and interactions. It also depicts the different transformations that took place in the people’s culture. The aboriginal people used rock art to signify any changes in seasons and times. It is possible to estimate the period that certain art was created based on the content and the material used.

At a time when reading and writing were not yet developed, people found ways to conserve their history through art. Expert used art as a form of expression and as a way of retaining the knowledge that they had. Hence, hunters focused on representing their skills, the animals they hunted, and the tools they used. Sorcerers preserved their practice and made it known to others when they painted on the rocks. The people used rock art as a way of telling myths, stories, traditions, and beliefs. Other than the oral method of telling such narratives, rock art was one of the most effective ways of ensuring that such traditions were kept alive. Hence, there are rocks showing stories of creation ancestors. The people believe that the creation ancestors shaped the world. Hence, it was necessary for them to honor them and to remember them through art

Religion, belief, and superstition are part of people’s daily experiences. The aboriginal people respect the earth and all its forms. The people painted animals on the rock art as a way of ensuring that they would be successful during hunting. They hoped that this would help to increase the number of animals. They painted art of religious significance, which was depicted in the form of ceremonies. Some of the contents showed presence of magic and sorcery in people’s culture.

The rock art is beautiful and the variation of the beauty depends on the material used for painting. The people used different paint pigments, which they sourced from their environment. Clay was a suitable material and it produced red, orange, and yellow pigments. The pigment was dependent on the level of iron in the soil. Other materials used to obtain color are haematite, limonite, goethite, kaolin, and manganese oxide. Colors obtained from these materials are red, yellow, white, and black. The pigments are crushed and mixed with water. For paintbrushes, people use human hair, sedges, bark stripes, roots, and feathers.

It is important to protect and conserve the artwork because of its sensitivity. Rock art is not only important because of its historical significance, but it is a fundamental part of the aboriginal identity. Rock art can be destroyed because of some natural process in the environment and on the rocks. Dust and dirt can coat the paintings and hide the content. People and animals can destroy the rock art when they touch it or rub on it. Other threats include plants, insects, wildfires, and other natural elements.  

The cooperation of all the stakeholders involved is instrumental in preserving the artwork. The aboriginal people have kept their history alive for all these years. They have done so using limited resources. As the region develops and other people gain more interest in such history, it is important to raise awareness of the significance of the rock art. It is important to commit more resources towards conserving the rock art.

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