David M. Welch Logo

Scientific Paper published by David M. Welch

Oh Dear! No Dear!

Rock Art Research Vol 29, No. 2

Abstract. This paper analyses a Kimberley (north Australia) rock art panel known as ‘Deer Rock’ to visitors and archaeologists working in the area. It will be argued that the painting represents a line of people performing a ceremony on all fours, not animals, and certainly not foreign deer. ‘Antlers’ are in fact headdresses and one figure wears a waist belt. The analysis will provide an example of misinterpretation of Australian rock art when taken out of cultural context by observers with little knowledge of the corpus of Aboriginal rock art or traditional Aboriginal culture.