Kakadu National Park is protecting Kakadu’s heritage. Kakadu is a protected area of the Northern Territories in Australia. It is 19,804 km square. Indigenous Australia/ Aboriginal people have lived in Kakadu for at least 40,000 years and there are more than 5,000 rock art sites. It’s amazing to walk back in time witnessing this ancient and very clever culture.
The weirdest thing about being in Kakadu is that people walk through these sites with amazement that Australian Aboriginals used to live here. It’s weird because Aboriginal clans STILL DO live in the area. And they still do paintings. The people who used to live in the caves as a true tribal race have been eradicated (murdered) quite recently by the Europeans.
So, very few of them exist – and they’re not so tribal any more because their culture was taken away from them when they were forcibly removed from their country (tribal land area) to live in reserves. Yet, here are Europeans walking through these ancient sites amazed that people used to live here. I can’t get my head around it.
Yes, it was only 2 generations ago that people lived in these ancient caves. They called them home for over 5,000 years. A man told me yesterday, “That boy over there. His Grandfather lived in those caves.” He pointed to some caves. That boy – young man – was our tour guide on a cruise during which I was honoured to step into Arnhem land. It was amazing and mind numbing to see evidence of their living here. Pictured below looks like a living room – which was inside a large comfortable cave.
Aboriginal Rock Art of a long necked turtleAm I the only one who wonders if this would be better living than our fast paced, highly stress society?And so I walked through these caves and saw the rock art and wondered with a sad heart. They had everything they needed in this land of plenty. They lived here for many many thousands of years here and knew the land thoroughly.
Some of the Aboriginal Rock Art are quite detailed in this area. The lines on the fish are many and sometimes shows the inside of the fish.
Here’s a section of what they call the Gallery because it’s a very long – over 5 metres and at least a metre high. The Gallery has many paintings of fish but look closely at the left hand side of this one below. Do you see the little white man with his hands in his pockets and with shoes?
Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art sometimes tells of a Dreamtime Story. I find this part absolutely fascinating. Here is one of a Lightning Man.
And another story of this fellow who knocks women on their head with a yam and then steals them. After reading this I looked around for any signs of yams. Luckily there were no yam to be seen and I’m still here writing this blog for you! 🙂
This one is one of my favourites. When you first arrive at the Gallery you see this sign telling you to look up.
And waaaaaaay high up on the cave ceiling – which is more of an over hanging rock are these ancient Aboriginal Rock Art paintings – although they aren’t painted by Australian Aboriginals – they’re painted by the Mimi Spirits who can lift the rocks down, paint them, and then put them back into place. Very cool!
Here’s a few more rock art paintings from in Kakadu National Park. If you ever get a chance to go there you must go see the Rock Art for yourself.