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The Body as Language and Expression of the Indigenous Australian Cultural Identity

Author(s): Dra. Dolors Soriano | Victòria Medina

Journal: Coolabah
ISSN 1988-5946

Volume: 3;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Indigenous Australian communities | body painting | oral tradition

In the Indigenous Australian oral culture, Tradition and Law are transmittedorally – through songs, tales, legends, etc. – and by visual expressions – engravings anddrawings made on rocks, on the ground, on material objects, on bark and on the humanbody–. Drawings and engravings transform the surface on which they are made fromprofane to sacred, since they are the transmitters of cultural myths and beliefs,generation after generation. The body, one of the supports of visual expression, activelyparticipates in the transmission of myths, relegating the design to a secondary place.The most important thing is the transmission of the myth and not the way it istransmitted, or the result. The mythological narrative or legend surpasses the aestheticline of vision. This paper intends to expose the primacy of the use of the body -- humanor not–, as a transmitter of the myths and history of the Indigenous Australian culture. Inthis way the body speaks a non-oral language full of symbolism and meaning.
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