Yugambeh warrior at the Aboriginal culture show, Queensland, Australia 30 Jun 2016
About this photo
There is no escaping the fact that the indigenous people of Queensland have had a tragic existence since white settlement: killed in huge numbers by imported diseases and settlers’ guns, living at the mercy of discriminatory laws and damaged by displacement, alcohol and drugs. There have been decades of government funding and more recently there has been official recognition of the mistakes of the past, but many policies have been misguided or mismanaged.
Attending a cultural show or visiting an aboriginal art market are great ways to experience Aboriginal culture in Queensland. A piece of Aboriginal art is one of the most emblematic and evocative souvenirs of a visit to Australia. Aboriginal artists sell their work in community art centres, specialist galleries and through agents.
Each artist owns the rights to his or her particular stories, motifs and tokens. Dot and bark paintings are the most common forms of Aboriginal art, but look out for contemporary works on canvas, board, boomerangs and didgeridoos, the Aboriginal musical instrument produced in northern Australia from tree branches hollowed out by termites. Boomerangs are always popular; genuine returning and hunting models usually come with instructions to help you throw them properly (and safely).
Find more from our blog: Experience Aboriginal culture
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