Abstract: Through the Eyes of the Elder: Understanding the Rock Art of the Dreamtime


Northern Australiais one of the last places left where rock art is still a living part of Indigenous culture. For the last five years, I have studied with Yidumduma Bill Harney, the last fully-initiated Wardaman man, and custodian of his people’s Country, Songs, and Stories. Together we have documented twenty-five of the rock art sites in Wardaman Country, and all of Yidumduma’s knowledge about them. This knowledge provides many insights into how rock art functioned in the daily and ceremonial lives of early peoples. Yidumduma and the other Wardaman elders wish to see this knowledge recorded for their descendants, and shared with the rest of the world.


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