Dreamtime

 

Aboriginal Dreamtime Artwork

Aboriginal Culture in Australia, otherwise known as the Aboriginal Dreamtime, is something in the vicinity of 40,000 years old. It is a rich and complex culture and brought about by an intimate knowledge of the environment.

The majority of mythology is based on what Aboriginal people believed were true historical acts done by their ancestors. It provides an explanation of the origin of natural phenonema, objects, species, institutions and customs. It can also reveal things that are happening or are about to happen. Mythology does not cover everything.

Aboriginal Dreamtime stories (or Dreamings) are stories that have been passed down orally or with non-permanent materials that belong to the mythology of the Dreamtime for Aboriginal people. Generally speaking, an Aboriginal's language, skin name and country they belong to are heavily dependent on their father's particulars. So, for the majority, the father's country is now their country also. There are several different countries (not to be confused with communities) in the greater Utopia area. Some include Ilkawerne, Alhalkere, Atnangkere, Ahalpere and sister countries Arnkawenyerr, Ngkwarlerlanem, Atnwengerrp and Irrwelty Arawerr.

What Stories Are Depicted in Dreamtime Artwork

Dreamtime stories are said to belong to each country. There are many stories, some major and some minor. Some are connected with other countries where different parts of the story belong to different countries - a beginning or an end perhaps. The Dreaming or Mythological stories don't cover everything but usually those things that affect society for good or bad.  For example: edible flora, ceremonial objects such as churinga stones and pearl stones, ochre and bull roarers, the moon, sun, stars, flood, fire, wind, rain, material things such as spears and axes and man's origin, life and death.

Aboriginal artists paint Dreamtime stories that, for many reasons, we may not know or understand anything more than a brief introduction or its title. The team at Mbantua Gallery works closely with the Utopia artists year round to gather as much new information relating to Dreamtime stories as they can and how it is represented in the artworks, continuously updating and learning from the Utopia people so that Mbantua Gallery can be their voice in teaching the wider world. Here, online, you can learn about some of these Dreamtime stories that are more commonly found in Aboriginal art from the Utopia region.

Visit the Gallery or Browse our Online Store to See Aboriginal Dreamtime Artwork

To see Aboriginal Dreamtime artworks in real life, pop into our Alice Springs or Darwin Gallery. Otherwise, browse our full range of artworks online. Questions? Call us on +61 8 8952 5571 or use the online form.