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Carvings on boab trees in northern Australia’s Tanami Desert support stories told by elders about how their land came to be, according to a team of Indigenous people and archaeologists.

A new paper by custodians and archeologists including Sue O’Connor and Jane Balme on their work on Tanami boab trees was published today in the journal Antiquity. Not rock art, but another way Aboriginal people have marked place and told significant stories through imagery – across the Kimberley and desert edge.  Rock Art Australia contributed funding to the project. The ABC reported on the paper. READ MORE >>


The boab trees of the remote Tanami desert are carved with centuries of Indigenous history – and they’re under threat

Australia’s Tanami desert is one of the most isolated and arid places on Earth. It’s a hard place to access and an even harder place to survive.

But sprinkled across this vast expanse of desert, sweeping for thousands of kilometres across the Northern Territory and Western Australia, are some of the oldest and most incredible stories of human life and settlement of our ancient continent.

It takes the shape of art in the bark of iconic and bountiful boab trees.

Published October 12 2022,The Conversation.

Photo: Carvings like this coiled snake relate to the Lingka Dreaming.  (Darrell Lewis)



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