Indigenous Art Teacher Guide

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Author: Watts, R.T.

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65 pages of Indigenous Art activities for the classroom. Internet research, art study, group work and research topics. Extension exercises are included for highly engaged students.

Indigenous people have been in Australia for many tens of thousands of years. For exactly how long continues to be a question for archaeologists and anthropologists to research. Suffice to say that according to some traditional beliefs of Australia's Indigenous people, their ancestors were created in the Dreaming, the period when both landscape and humans were formed. What is certain is that their ancestors witnessed dramatic changes in the Australian landscape with the continent changing through ice ages, areas of lush rain forest drying into plains and animal species becoming extinct. Many of these changes are recorded in their rock art.

In including indigenous perspectives in any school curriculum, teachers are encouraged to engage first with the local Indigenous community and seek its involvement in bringing knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture into the broader community. There is a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience shared among the elders of every Indigenous community and many communities are generous in their willingness to share their public knowledge with the broader Australian community.

Australian Indigenous people have art traditions which span the millennia and which have grown and developed continuously. At the same time, there is a consistency in the purposes and figures used in art which is used for passing on the stories and legends behind the laws that govern Indigenous culture. Evidence of the more ephemeral arts such as body painting, wood carving and weaving has not survived the millennia but rock art has. Consequently, this booklet focuses its activities on the art which can be seen.

The activities in this booklet are designed to assist students in developing a general understanding of the history of Indigenous art where local Indigenous culture or knowledge may be lost. Given the diverse nature of this art across Australia, these activities can only be considered to be introductory. Little reference is made to current Indigenous art practice as this deserves a lengthy consideration in its own right.

  • Format: Paperback
  • Series: Indigenous Studies Teacher Guides
  • Series Number: 1
  • Publication Date: 1/02/2015
  • Publisher: Knowledge Books and Software
  • Subject: Indigenous
  • Audience: Primary, Secondary
  • Curriculum: Australian