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Aboriginal Art Symbols

The Aboriginal symbol for a woman is an inverted 'U' shaped curve in combination with a vertical line.

Aboriginal Art Symbols

Aboriginal Symbols are a visual language that communicates information about the cultural life of indigenous Australians.

  • Symbols are used as the elements of an artwork to tell a story or share knowledge.

  • They are mostly used in combination with one another to express more complex information and ideas.

  • Their combination and context are the key to their meaning.

  • The meaning of certain symbols can vary between individual artists and different language groups.

  • Most of symbols that you see in Aboriginal artworks are commonplace and considered acceptable for public display. However, many symbols have secret and sacred meanings and should only be viewed by initiated individuals.

  • Our menu below offers an index of some of the more conventional symbols.

Some of the topics in our Aboriginal Art pages are illustrated with a painting that was inspired by the theme of that page. The symbols and images used to create them are taken from the sheets above which are freely available as pdf. files for you to download to help with drawing your own artworks.