We are exploring Australian Aboriginal culture as part of the Around the World in 30 Days Series hosted by Cutting Tiny Bites. Two things that we will learn about on Australian Aboriginal culture are: Aboriginal Art and the Boomerang. Aboriginal Art refers to artwork made by indigenous people of Australia, the most famous style of art being Aboriginal Dot Painting. The Boomerang, on the other hand, is part of Aboriginal culture because it was a hunting tool used by indigenous Australians in the early days. We will end by letting the kids create an Aboriginal Boomerang Craft. We also provided a free printable boomerang template below to assist in the process of making this craft for preschool kids.
Quick Facts on Australian Aboriginal Art
Explain a bit of history to the kids: In the early days, Aborigines would paint on a wide variety of media which included leaves, rocks, bark, sand and wood. Artwork in these types of media beautifully reflected stories and legends expressed by the Aborigines, but as you can imagine these media were easily erased or were prone to decay. Then in 1971, a group of artists from Papunya in the Northern Territory of Australia started painting on canvas and this was when the popularity of Aboriginal dot painting emerged. These artists were known as the Papunya Tula Artists. Show the kids these examples of Papunya dot paintings for inspiration…
* All 3 artworks featured above is from the National Museum Australia website.
Australian Aboriginal Boomerangs
Australia is very much known for the boomerang. Let the kids know that these were originally used by the Aborigines as a hunting weapon. Because of the shape of the boomerang, it revolved at speeds that one cannot see it when thrown. It actually injured or even killed native animals such as birds and kangaroos.
Today, boomerangs are mostly used for sport or as artwork. It is quite common to see hand painted boomerangs in Australia today, such as this one:
Aboriginal Boomerang Craft
This Aboriginal Boomerang Craft will combine what you just talked about with the kids: Australian Aboriginal Art and the Boomerang.
What you need for this Aboriginal Boomerang Craft:
- Free Printable: Aboriginal Boomerang Craft by Kidz Activities
- Cereal box or any cardboard with a large flat surface
- Cotton buds