Photos of Aboriginal Arts and Crafts from Central Australia

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Aboriginal Arts and Crafts from Central Australia

Australia's Aboriginal people have a strong material culture that is intricately bound to their ritual life and the methods by which it is produced haven't changed for centuries, although today "modern" materials are also used. In central Australia, everyday craft objects like boomerangs, shields and spears are made the old way and string, woven from human hair is important in ceremonial use.

Making hair string
Straightening a spear
Heating a spear
Painting a wooden shield
Painting a 'kurdiji'
Making a
Christian “dreaming” shields
Ceremonial shields
Making a boomerang
Finishing a boomerang
Carving a boomerang
Making hairstring
Making a dot painting
Making paintings
Painting a boomerang
Decorative painting
Painting a pot
Hermansburg Potters
Festival display
Pintubi artist
Dancing Emu painting
Devil Devil painting
Abstudy painting
Walungurru (Kintore)
Christian painting
Warnayaka Art Centre
Warnayaka Art Centre
Warnayaka Art Centre
Making a large painting
Warnayaka Art Centre
In Warnayaka Art Centre
Painting nearing completion
Warnayaka Art Centre

Aboriginal art is justly famous, both in Australia itself and abroad. An example of the work of a Central Australian painter, Linda Syddick, is shown here as an example of the beauty coming out of a remote Pintubi community, Walungurru (Kintore), 530 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Please note that this may not be reproduced without permission of the artist. Women are active painters in various communities, producing canvases, always with traditional motives; community centres, like Warnayaka Art Centre in Lajamanu, arrange for dealers to buy these paintings to be sold in art galleries. And also when something totally new is done, as in the making of pottery (that was unknown in the "old days") the pots are decorated with traditional motives and paintings of bush foods and animals, as in the work by the women of Hermannsburg.

But, next to items for sale, like Central Australian "dot-paintings" on canvas, there are still items made for home use, like spears, boomerangs and shields made by the men in traditional communities.