Sunday, February 1, 2009

Photo of the Week - Aboriginal Hand Stencil Gallery (Australia)

The Australian aboriginals are believed to have the oldest living culture in the world, estimated at over 40,000 years (that is around 2,000 generations). Renowned for their deep spiritual connection with the land, one of their lasting legacies is magnificent rock art including galleries of hand stencils in caves and rocky overhangs. The photo comes from the Blue Mountains around 90 minutes by car or train west of Sydney. The hand prints are estimated to be up to 1600 years old though probably were added to over the centuries. Pigments are made by grinding sandstone and mixing it with water and animal fats into an ochre paste. The aborigines either dip their hand in this paint to make a hand print or take a mouthful and blow the ochre over their hand leaving a stencil on the cave wall.

6 comments:

Footsteps said...

These are amazing, Mark. -And the process is quite interesting. The "dip and print" sounds a lot easier than a mouthful of ochre!

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Anonymous said...

pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!

Mark H said...

@footsteps: I agree - I'm not sure I'd be keen on the mouth full of ochre approach.

@anonymous: Thank you

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