Understanding The Link Between Rock Art & Indigenous Dreamtime Stories

Rock art is created by engraving or carving images into stone. These images often depict scenes from an Indigenous group’s dreamtime stories.

Dreamtime stories are passed down from generation to generation and detail the origins of the world, its people and animals. They explain the laws that govern human behavior and natural phenomena.

Indigenous people believe that the Dreamtime is a reality that exists outside of our own physical world. It is a place where ancestors, spirits and animals reside.

The link between rock art and Dreamtime stories is significant because it allows us to connect with the past and better understand the culture and beliefs of Indigenous people.

What is Rock Art?

Rock art is art created on natural stone surfaces. It is one of the oldest and most widespread forms of human expression, dating back to prehistoric times. Rock art can be found on every continent, in virtually every culture.

There are two main types of rock art: petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs are images that have been carved or etched into the surface of the rock. Pictographs are images that have been painted onto the surface of the rock.

The vast majority of rock art is pre historic, meaning it was created by people who did not have a written language. As such, it is often difficult to know for certain what a particular image represents. However, many scholars believe that rock art was used as a form of storytelling, and that each image depicts a scene from a dream or vision.

Indigenous peoples around the world have long held a deep respect for rock art sites. For many, these sites are seen as sacred places where one can go to connect with their ancestors and the natural world. In recent years, there has been an increased effort to protect and preserve rock art sites from vandalism and damage caused by natural weathering and erosion.

What is Dreamtime Stories?

Dreamtime stories are an integral part of Indigenous culture. They provide a connection to the land and its people and are often used to teach important life lessons.

Dream time stories vary from culture to culture, but they all typically revolve around Dreaming – a time when the world was created and everything was in balance. Dreams were thought to be a way for humans to connect with the spiritual world, and many of the stories were passed down through oral tradition.

Rock art is one of the most common ways in which Dream time stories have been recorded and preserved. For centuries, Indigenous people have been using rock art as a way to tell their story and pass down their knowledge.

Today, rock art is an important part of Indigenous culture and heritage. It is a reminder of the connection between humans and the land, and a way to keep the Dreaming alive.

The Link between Rock Art and Dreamtime Stories

It is widely accepted that there is a strong link between rock art and indigenous Dream Time stories. The two are often used interchangeably to tell the stories of Dreamtime. For example, many of the Dreamtime stories about the Creation of the Universe are represented in rock art. Similarly, rock art is often used to tell stories about the journeys of Dreamtime beings.

The link between rock art and Dreamtime stories is thought to be so strong because both are created by Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people have a strong connection to the land and believe that everything on Earth has a spirit. This means that rocks, trees, animals, and even people have spirits. Therefore, it makes sense that Aboriginal people would use these things to tell their stories.

Aboriginal people also believe that everything is connected. This means that the stories they tell about the Dreamtime are not just stories; they are also a way of understanding the world around them. For example, a story about how a certain animal was created can teach Aboriginal people about that animal’s habits and behavior. In this way, rock art and Dreamtime stories are two very important ways for Aboriginal people to understand and connect with their world.

How Can We Preserve Rock Art?

There are many ways to preserve rock art. One way is to create a replica of the artwork. This can be done by making a mold of the artwork and then casting it in a durable material such as bronze or concrete. Another way to preserve rock art is to cover it with a protective covering such as Plexiglas or fiberglass.


In conclusion, there are many different interpretations of rock art, and each one can be linked back to different aspects of the artist’s culture. Whether it’s used as a form of storytelling, to record history, or simply as a form of artistic expression, rock art is a significant part of many cultures around the world.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about the link between rock art and indigenous dream time stories, there are a few great resources that can help.

One is the book “The Dreamtime: A Concise Introduction” by Australian author Scott Fellows. This book provides a clear and concise overview of the topic, and includes a number of case studies from around Australia.

Another excellent resource is the website Rock Art Dreaming, this site includes a range of articles, videos, and other resources that can help you learn more about this fascinating topic.