Aboriginal rock art of the Anaiwan peoples


The visual arts are always a surreal experience for me as I wonder on the human hands and the human mind guiding them. This rock art of the Anaiwan peoples is no exception.

After I captured these photos and video I visited the local tourist information centre and library hoping to learn more about the history of the art, but very little was known about the site. Interestingly the tourism centre had images of the rock art site on their brochures yet they seemed to know nothing of history or cultural significance of the site. The local history section of the library seemed to consist mainly of books on Captain Thunderbolt, a bushranger.

I suppose it is very un-Australian to prefer artists to bank robbers. murderers and cricket captains; but I am what I am.

The nice man at the tourist information centre did google me a copy of this document, Biodiversity Education and Excursion Package and print it out. The lady in the library was also apologetic at not knowing more about the site and explained the library had recently received a grant to expand the local history section.

Here’s to hoping that documented history in regional Australian communities will continue to expand to include the art and culture of all the peoples who have walked these lands.

© 2015 Mel Irvine

4 responses to “Aboriginal rock art of the Anaiwan peoples”

  1. Tracey Avatar

    That’s so sad. I was hoping to find some info and I will look in the library as you suggest. You see I’m going for a job at the Aboriginal Keeping Place teaching a holiday program and was hoping to get some info on the type of artwork they did.bthanks for your help anyway.

    1. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar

      All the best Tracey with your program. Still an interesting teaching angle might be … why the rock art features so prominently on brochures in the Uralla tourist information centre etc but supporting history seems to be negligible. Mel.

  2. Tracey Cattana Avatar

    Hi Mel do you know if the grant was used to learn more about the sites shown in your article?

    1. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar

      Hi Tracey,

      I don’t know. When I visited this site several years ago I went looking for local documents recording the history of the place and found nothing at all. At the time the local library was focused entirely on bushrangers and settlers and there was basically nothing about local Aboriginal history. Hopefully that has changed.

      The Armidale library might have something.

      All the best.