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Scientific Paper published by David M. Welch

Cultural Change in the Kimberley Rock Art, Western Australia

By David M. Welch

Abstract. The Kimberley region of north-western Australia has rock art revealing evidence of gradual changes in the culture of the Aborigines of that region over time. Human figures depicted in ceremonial dress and shown in dancing pose make up a large portion of the earlier art that survives. Some of these figures are associated with items of material culture no longer found in the area, yet surviving amongst Aboriginal tribes in other parts of Australia. There are changes in the content of ceremonial dances depicted. The rock art also reveals a previously important Plant People cult, and the gradual change to the Wandjina cult of faces without mouths.