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Aboriginal Tourism - Indigenous Australia - Iconography and Symbols
The dotted motifs of much of today's Aboriginal modern design work has become the trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal Art movement. Its iconic status developed from a culture stretching back into the history of an ancient land, evolving and weaving into desert dreamtime stories.

Some of the symbols used in Aboriginal art appear to be the same, but can mean different things, such as the circle symbol and when viewed in monochrome the symbol can look similar, such as the circles within circles, sometimes depicted on its own, sparsely or in clustered groups.

When this symbol is used and depending on the Aboriginal tribe you belong to, it can vary in meaning from campfire, tree, hill, digging hole, waterhole or spring. It use of the symbol can be clarified further by the use of colour, with water often being depicted as blue.

Whatever the meaning, interpretations of the symbols should be taken in context of the entire painting, the region from which the artist originates from, the story behind the painting, the style of the painting, with additional clues being the colours used in some of the more modern works.

Check out the interpretation of the following symbols to describe the environment, landscape and things in the landscape, used by Aboriginal people.

 

 

Aboriginal - Symbols, Icons and Imagery

Symbols • Human Activity • Man Woman Child • Tools • Bush Tucker • Wildlife
• Environment Landscape • Rain River Water
• Environment and Landscape - Symbols, Icons and Imagery
Sandhill or cloud - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
sandhill or cloud
Water flow, smoke, lightning, bush fire - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
used to depict water flow, smoke, lightning, bush fire
Landscape / desert landscape - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
landscape / desert landscape
Rainbow / cloud - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rainbow / cloud
Star / sun - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
star / sun

rockholes
• Rain, River, Water - Symbols, Icons and Imagery
Water - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
This symbol sometimes found on a cave wall, signify to travellers the presence of water
Waterhole & frogs - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
The blue circles represent waterholes.

The brown circles represent frogs burrowed in the ground
Waterhole - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
waterhole (signifies water or number of waterholes)
Waterholes connected by running water - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
waterholes connected by
running water
Waterholes - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
waterholes
River/stream and waterhole - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
river/stream and waterhole
Rain - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rain
rain - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rain
Rain - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rain
Rain - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rain
Rain - Aboriginal Art & Symbolism © AusEmade PL
rain (also used to depict ants)

whirlpool
 
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