Our tour begins in Darwin. In this post, I cover the ancient Kakadu National Park, the sacred Aboriginal Rock Art, and the towering Termite Mounds of Litchfield National Park.
Kakadu National Park
We drive past swampy land, on a road where we are not to alight due to crocodile dangers. The land was once hopeful rice fields, now just non-arable land left to return to the wild. We enter Kakadu National Park, an ancient landscape with rock formations dating back millions (hundreds of millions?) year old. I can’t recall the number, the flies distract me. The heat is almost unbearable.
At Anbangbang, we see Aboriginal rock art, not the typical dot painting commercialized for tourism.
Our tour guide wasn’t fond of the term “art” used to describe Aboriginal paintings. It is much more than just art. It is culture, history, a big part of Aboriginal life, so he prefers the more literal term “painting”.
According to our guide, the information on this sign (below) is a misinterpretation of the painting.
What it actually represents are illnesses and deformities.
It’s not as glorified as the sign says.
I think about this art versus painting differentiation from time to time. Something bothers me about how my guide prefers to use the term “painting” over “art”. To me, “art” conveys something more than “painting”. The meaning behind a piece of painting makes it art. It is why some people don’t appreciate conceptual art because of its sometimes simple implementation. In a way, I feel my guide is degrading the term “art” by thinking that it degrades the Aboriginal painting. Does the term “art” does not encompass culture, history and sacred practice? Not sure, not sure.
Termite Mounds, Architecture by Bugs
In my head, I ask, why do I want to look at termite mounds? Bugs. *Shivers*
They’re actually quite impressive. Hundreds and thousands of termites poop enough to add 10cm each year to these termite mounds. What you’re looking at is about 10 to 20 years of hard labour.
This one is about 50 years.
Bountiful Waterfalls, Mother Nature’s Swimming Pools
Ah, so nice.