Historically, Australian Aboriginal people had three main forms of communicating — storytelling, songs, and visual communication through painting, drawing and the use of ceremonial design. Without a written language, future generations, beyond generational learning, largely depended on the wide breadth of Aboriginal Art to communicate and understand past practices and culture.
Indigenous art provides important economic benefits. When the art market peaked in 2007, Indigenous art was estimated to generate some A$400-500 million a year. This supported 110 Indigenous art centres and about 5,000 art workers (artists).
How Indigenous fashion designers are taking control and challenging the notion of the heroic, lone genius
Indigenous Australians have influenced modern Australian dress since first contact. From possum skin cloaks and booka kangaroo capes to shell necklaces in Tasmania, Europeans have been fascinated with Indigenous materials, skills and aesthetics. They have stolen, purchased, borrowed and worn them for more than 200 years.
Artefacts in Kakadu national park have been dated between 65,000 and 80,000 years old, extending likely occupation of area by thousands of years.