David M. Welch Logo

Scientific Paper published by David M. Welch

Kakadu Dreaming: Ancestral Beings and Mythology In The Rock Art of The Kakadu Region

Abstract. In Aboriginal mythology, Ancestral Beings created the landforms, plants, animals, and people, and travelled along’Dreaming Paths’, at a time known as ‘The Dreamtime’. Many rock paintings in the Kakadu region relate to these Ancestral Beings, also known as ‘Dreamtime Spirits’ or’Creator Figures’. In the Kakadu region, the present day Aborigines still have knowledge of the myths associated with some of these Ancestral Heroes, and can identify the relevant paintings with a Creator Figure, and its Dreaming Path. However, looking at the oldest rock paintings, there is often no Aboriginal knowledge or understanding about them. This paper explores methods of studying some of these older paintings in the Kakadu Region, in terms of their possible religious significance.