Lecture 2. Dreamtime Rituals: Painting the Landscape in the Northern Territory and South Australia

The Uluru-Kata Tjutu National Park in the Northern Territory contains many rock formations, including Uluru. Aborigines believe that Dreamings created every topographical feature, including water holes, hills, caves, and fissures. Rock art in caves represents wallabies, humans, and other Dreamings that, according to the Pitjantjatjara, Anangu, and other groups, created Uluru. To the west, Kata Tjuta is a group of monumental domed rocks. Aboriginal oral tradition recounts that a king once lived there. For thousands of years Aborigines marked the landscape and conducted rituals about Dreamtime and the songlines. Repainting images allowed contact with the Dreaming who created the original image or dwelt just below the surface of the image. Families owned individual Dreaming stories and artistic compositions.

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