History and Culture

Connection to Country

For Aborigines, the special relationship with the land is of fundamental importance and is deeply connected to their art through symbolic images that are rich, profoundly complex and intriguing.

Aboriginal people see the land as shaped by the creative spirits that originally came out of the earth or sea. These spirit beings transformed the land with their magic powers and gave rise to humans. Hence, many places were deemed sacred because of their links with spiritual ancestors.

For central desert people, this period is referred to as the Tjukurrpa or the Dreaming - an ancestral or origin period that continues to exist as the present day Law and is embodied in stories, songs, country, painting and ceremonies.