This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge.
Living in Darwin and Australia’s Top End, had the advantage of greater opportunities to see Indigenous art, often in an X-ray style, in various locations. We are always thought of as a young country and as with other First Nations people, having “no” heritage or structures to show there was a productive life here long before whitefellas came along and “discovered” the land. In fact, there are traditions going back tens of thousands of years and some of this is evidenced in the art work found in natural galleries. More recently, the heritage of different types of Indigenous art has become increasingly popular both in Australia and world-wide. One sign in Kakadu, at Nourlangie, says the art in that gallery is relatively recent – only in the past 1,000 years! WOW! Certain people from the area have responsibility to maintain the artwork.
Imagine yourself, centuries back sitting under a rock overhand with your family groupings while the rain belted down. Mankind seems to default to telling its stories via art and so you’ll find examples of the animals that are the food supply, the arrival of the white man with his guns, and Dreamtime stories and traditions. Some places are sacred sites to the local people and even where visitors are permitted to visit, they may be asked not to photograph the place, or any art there. Considering the potential impact of ignorant idiots intent on leaving their own mark, caution is wise. Imagine if someone graffitied St Paul’s in London or St Peter’s in Rome! And then there’s the greed of big companies which have wrought havoc on some places.
One thing about travelling off-season is that you often get to see Christmas decorations in different places even though we’ve “only” spent one Xmas overseas, in Lucerne in 1989: church bells, midnight Mass, snow. Certainly a WOW and different from those of us Down Under who are used to sun, blue skies and heat for Christmas.
How does your town celebrate Christmas? Are there decorations and lights?
Have you seen any Indigenous art where you live?