Traditional Aboriginal symbols illustrate the rich heritage of the Australian desert and are used in artworks, body paint and are often seen during sacred rituals and ceremonies. While the combinations of lines, dots and other markings can appear random to the untrained eye, they are in fact carefully placed in order to tell a story - these stories are typically part of the Dreamtime culture. Understanding these symbols is one key to revealing the intricate stories that exist within traditional Aboriginal art.
There was no written language in Indigenous Australian culture. Instead, they communicated through oral storytelling and symbols, also referred to as iconography. Communicating through symbols means that artworks are an integral part of Aboriginal culture and a primary method for passing their heritage down through generations.
Browse our complete collection of Indigenous artworks online to see the diverse use of symbols from our many talented Aboriginal artists.