The Mysterious Aboriginal Rock Art of the Wandjinas

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Perhaps what is most interesting about their figurative art painted on rocks and in caves is the way in which they have represented the Wandjinas – white faces, devoid of a mouth, large black eyes, and a head surrounded by a halo or some type of helmet.

Today, the Aboriginal tribes of the Worora, Ngarinyin and Wunumbul still revere the Wandjina and only certain individuals are given permission to paint them. It is said that the Wandjina could punish those who broke the law with floods, lightening and cyclones and the paintings of the Wandjina are believed to possess these powers, therefore according to the Aboriginals they are always to be approached and treated respectfully.

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One thing that everybody needs to get straight never were any of the ancients making up stories. How crude and easy for modern day man to label the ancients as making up stories, right in line with what we do today! Today we make up stories yes. Back then? They recorded history! In fact, all of our history! Why do we pick out what we think is credible or not? A lack of imagination, thats why! At the end of the day, the universe is infinite, ever-expanding, there are billions of exoplanets that could host life, metaphysics has only been explored like the tip of an iceberg… the list goes on! Just look at the paintings! What do they look like! Theres no need to even rationalise about it, any more! They are obviously foreign creatures! My god! People and their lack of imagination!

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One could be forgiven for thinking that there is indeed a remarkable similarity between the Wandjinas and the stereotypical image of an extraterrestrial which we see time and again in art, movies and witness accounts. And many raise logical questions such as, why were the Wandjinas painted with white skin if it was representing another Aboriginal, all of whom had black skin? Why were the eyes always painted so disproportionate to the face and nose? And why were they all painted without a mouth?

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Add to that all the amateur (sometimes brilliant-sometimes not) archeologists, paleontologists and the like that contribute to the enormous body of information available, we are left perplexed and inundated with so information and misinformation that we are going in circles instead of a straight line.

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I think the alien interpretation of the Wandjinas is almost too crude to be true. I understand that from a certain perspective, the oral tradition combined with the ominous figures seems to point to extra-terrestrials from the galaxy – spacemen travelling and giving life. Its a fair enough idea. However, and I mean this as generally as possible, if one is to study oral tradition and not make the connection that the aborigines have vast knowledge of the Other worlds – those places where the spirits dwell, the Dreamtime I think is what they call it – then is one not missing the fact that, invariably, indigenous cultures have a world of dreams in which there is a lower world, a middle world, and an upper world? And if each of these worlds are inhabited by their culture spirits and mythic entities, then when they journey, when their medicine men and women make the transition from Earthly consciousness of the body to that of the soul, they could journey to the upper world and could meet with their helpers from above. This is not to say that creatures actually did come from above, from the physical stars, but from the spiritual place above. All this, of course, is wildly generalised, completely insubstantiated because its difficult as Westerners to make the leap beyond using the world ritual when it comes to spirituality, and my interpretation is scientifically suspicious because I dont know the mechanics of modern aboriginal dreaming/shamanism. I simply think that to take a literal interpretation that beings came from the stars and landed on the earth to begin the human race or to begin life is just as insubstantiated as the shamanism idea. Then again, thats the fun of distant history. No one really knows what the heck was going on besides some paintings, some ochre in oyster shells and modern oral tradition. Still, thats why I love it, right?

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Why would ancient Aboriginal people create so-called myths or fanciful stories if it meant so much to them and remains so important to their culture to this day?  So many myths and legends of the past have already been proven true by archaeological findings, such as the legend ofthe city of Troy, the labyrinth of theMinotaur, Norse legends ofnavigational crystalsand many more.  Could it not be that the Aboriginal people of the time were simply telling of events as they saw them and how they understood them at the time? Perhaps one day we will uncover the answers to these intriguing questions.

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The Worora, Ngarinyin and Wunumbul people are the three Wandjina tribes these tribal groups are the custodians of the oldest known figurative art which is scattered throughout the Kimberley.

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name,Joanna Gillan.

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So true that we are very far removed from the experiences and beliefs of ancient tribes and even ancient civilizations. Gleaning through the writings, the oral traditions, the carvings and drawings of so many different peoples that the daunting task of scientific comparisons seems unrealistic.

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One of the most intriguing and perplexing legends of the Australian Aboriginal people is that of the Wandjinas, the supreme spirit beings and creators of the land and people.  The land of the Wandjina is a vast area of about 200,000 square kilometres of lands, waters, sea and islands in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia with continuous culture dating back at least 60,000 years but probably much older. Here, traditional Aboriginal law and culture are still active and alive.

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My contact was real. I no longer care about the worlds opinion of my sanity, I have seen first hand how completely normal and sane contact experiencers are. For me this Wandjina art is just confirmation of everything I already knew.

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But what is even more surprising is the oral account of the Wandjinas which has been passed from generation to generation as all of the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories have.

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The ancient paintings have received all manner of interpretations from stylized representations of people or even owls, to ancient astronaut theories which suggest that extraterrestrial beings visited Earth tens of thousands of years ago and had direct contact with the inhabitants. Some believe that the extraterrestrials even played a direct role in creation, which is reflected not only in the Dreamtime stories of the Aboriginals but also the myths and legends of many ancient civilizations around the world.

The story goes like this the Wandjina were sky-beings or spirits from the clouds who came down from the Milky Way during Dreamtime and created the Earth and all its inhabitants. Then Wandjina looked upon the inhabitants and realised the enormity of the task and returned home to bring more Wandjinas. With the aid of the Dreamtime snake, the Wandjina descended and spent their Dreamtime creating, teaching and being Gods to the Aboriginals whom they created.  After some time, the Wandjinas disappeared. They descended into the earth and since then, have lived at the bottom of the water source associated with each of the paintings. There, they continually produce new child-seeds, which are regarded as the source of all human life.  Some Wandjina also returned to the sky, and can now be seen at night as lights moving high above the earth.

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Interestingly and of course controversially, objects have been found on geographical sites which suggest the area had been inhabited as long ago as 174,000 B.C.  This contradicts the theory that Aboriginals had their routes in Africa and that inhabitants travelled from Africa to Australia about 60,000 years ago. Other researchers have suggested thatHomo sapiens actually originated in Australia.

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Aboriginal people, in the Kimberley also believe that even after they disappeared, the Wandjina continued to control everything that happened on the land and in the sky and sea.

Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, rock art and cave paintings have often been considered more myth then reality, like the stories we find in the teachings of modern day religions. However, recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed the reality of at least some of the Dreamtime stories. For example, those that spoke of huge mammals walking the Earth were once considered fantasy. But discoveries of animal fossils belonging to mega fauna including giant mammals confirmed that these stories were accounts of real life events, passed down by generations over tens of thousands of years.

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I am a contact experiencer. I have actually interacted with the Wandjina. I know that you will not believe this statement, but I just spent my last weekend at a support group for contact experiencers. I am also a scientist, and as such I did not accept my crazy dream at first, even though I wasnt asleep at the time, it took 6 years before I could accept that it actually happened, despite the crazy things that happened in real life as a result of my crazy dream. Now as a scientist, I have had a first hand study of contact experiencers, and I can tell you that we come from all different cultures/races/religions/sexes/backgrounds, there is not a single common link amongst us, we all share the same symptoms (rashes/bruises/increased psychic abilities/increased awareness/poltergeists), and the most compelling evidence to me is in the changes in the people that this happens to. Despite our different backgrounds, we all end up feeling exactly the same way, knowing the same things, talking the same way, we end up isolated from society and our families, because no-one wants to hear what we have to say, they want us to have normal conversations, but none of us are able to, we all think on a much higher level and so our conversation is on a much higher level, and most people cant handle it, theyd rather we talked about the weather or Lady Gagas underwear. Its one of the reasons I am here right now, I have known for a long time that the Australian Aboriginals are the ORIGINAL people, we didnt come out of Africa as we are commonly mis-taught, and this was confirmed for me when I went to the support group as I heard so many of them also say the SAME THING. And when I decided to look at link between my Greys and the Aboriginals, what do I find? That they have been with us since the beginning of time and that the Aboriginals consider them our teachers and creators? So as a scientist, who attended a group who say the greys are here to teach us, and finds that is exactly what the ancient aboriginals also believed, I can only come to one conclusion.

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