A Long History
The art history of aboriginal people of Australia stretches over thousands of years. Both modern and traditional materials are used by aboriginal people in the creation of their art. Among the many art forms of Australia, aboriginal art is most recognised internationally.
Aboriginal art includes several distinct styles and some well-known examples is the acrylic Papunya Tula dot art movement, the Hermannsburg school and the watercolour paintings of Albert Namatjira. Local art is ensuring at least some form of income for various Central Australian communities.
The night sky is an important source of inspiration for aboriginal people and many stories and also songs are inspired by the night sky.
SEE: Traditional Indigenous Australian Art
Some aboriginal people of western Victoria once competed in a traditional game known as Marn Grook. This aboriginal game is played with a possum hide and it is considered to be a type of football. There are several similarities between Australian football and Marn Grook which include high marking, which result in a free kick and jumping to catch the ball. There are also some who suspect that the use of the word mark may in fact come from the Marn Grook word mamarki which translated means, catch.
This opinion is not shared by everybody because the term mark also appears in the game of rugby and in other games with an older history than AFL. Rugby uses the term mark to indicate a free kick which is awarded when a player calls mark which then results in a free kick before normal play can resume.
SEE: Contemporary Indigenous Australian Art
Over the years the number of aboriginal players who participate in Australian rules football has increased and according to statistics at least one out of ten AFL players will be from an aboriginal background. The involvement of aboriginal people in this sport is recognised by the AFL and a special AFL dreamtime at the G match takes place at the Melbourne cricket ground between Richmond and Essendon football clubs and interestingly the colours of these two clubs combined forms the colours of the aboriginal flag.
There is more than enough evidence to prove the huge amount of raw talent which exist among aboriginal people and the aboriginal all stars which is an AFL level all aboriginal football side will compete against any of the AFL football teams in pre-season games. Some organisations have been formed to look specifically at the development of aboriginal football talent and one of these is the Clontarf Foundation and football academy.
One successful aboriginal team was the Trivi Bombers who first featured in the Northern territory league and eventually became the first all aboriginal side to take part in a major Australian competition.
There are also several aboriginal children’s games which is quite popular in certain parts of Australia and one of these games is known as weet weet which is simply the throwing of a play stick. The winner of the game is determined by the player which is able to throw the weet weet the most accurately and also the furthest.