Understanding The Significance Of Wandjina Rock Art

Wandjina rock art is an ancient and sacred form of Aboriginal Australian art that is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Wandjina are spiritual beings who are believed to have created the landscape and everything in it. They are also said to be the guardians of the rain, which is a very important part of life in the driest inhabited continent on Earth.

What are Wandjinas?

Wandjina are cloud and rain spirits who, according to Aboriginal legend, created the land and its people. They are said to still inhabit the skies above the northwestern coast of Australia.

The Wandjina are often represented in art as human-like figures with large eyes, long noses, and wide open mouths. They are often surrounded by clouds or raindrops, and their bodies are often decorated with intricate patterns.

The Wandjina are significant to the Aboriginal people of the northwestern coast of Australia as they are seen as the spirits who control the weather. The Aborigines believe that the Wandjina determine when it will rain, and as such, they play an important role in ensuring the land is fertile and able to support life.

The Wandjina rock art is some of the most significant and sacred art of the Aboriginal people. It is estimated that this type of art dates back over 4,000 years, making it some of the oldest art in the world. The Wandjina paintings can be found in caves and on rock walls throughout the northwestern coast of Australia.

Where is Wandjina Rock Art found?

Wandjina rock art is found in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. It is predominantly found on the walls of caves and overhangs, and on boulders and rock pillars. However, it has also been recorded on trees, cliffs and in other places in the landscape. The art consists of paintings of Wandjinas and other beings that are part of Aboriginal mythology.

How is Wandjina Rock Art significant?

The Wandjina are supreme beings in the mythology of the Worora, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbul Aboriginal peoples in the Kimberley region of northwestern Australia. They are creator spirits who came to Earth from the skies to create the land, rivers, and its inhabitants. The Wandjina is responsible for controlling the weather and bringing the rain.

The Wandjina rock art is significant to Aboriginal people as it is believed to depict the Wandjina spirits. The paintings are often found in caves and rock shelters in areas where fresh water is available. They are usually painted using red ochre and white clay. The Wandjina paintings are believed to have a spiritual connection to the Dreamtime (the time when Aboriginal people believe the world was created).

The Wandjina paintings are significant not only to Aboriginal people but also to researchers and historians. The paintings provide insight into the beliefs and mythology of the Aboriginal people. They also offer a rare glimpse into the daily life and culture of these people.

Who created Wandjina Rock Art?

The Wandjina are the supreme beings of the Mowanjum Aboriginal people, near Derby in Western Australia. They created and control the weather – bringing the rains that swell the rivers and make the crops grow. The first Wandjina were born from eggs laid by two giant snakes.

The Mowanjum people believe that the Wandjina created everything – humans, animals, plants, and rocks. All life on Earth is under their control. When a Wandjina dies, they become a star in the sky.

The Mowanjum people have been making art for over 40,000 years. Their art is found in rock shelters and on boulders throughout their traditional lands. The most famous examples of Mowanjum art are the ‘Wandjina paintings’ – large paintings of ghost-like beings with long noses and glaring eyes.

The Wandjina paintings are more than just pretty pictures. They are an important part of Mowanjum culture and religion. The paintings are used in ceremonies to bring rain – an essential part of life in the arid Kimberley region.

When was Wandjina Rock Art created?

Wandjina rock art is believed to have been created by the Aboriginal people of Australia over a period of many thousands of years. The Wandjina are spiritual beings who are said to have created the world and all that is in it. They are also thought to be the guardians of the rain, and the art depicts them holding or surrounded by raindrops.

The oldest Wandjina rock art is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and is estimated to date back around 4,000 years. This makes it some of the oldest known rock art in Australia, and indeed, some of the oldest knownrock art in the world.

The Wandjina are an important part of Aboriginal culture, and their rock art is a significant part of that culture. It is thought to hold great power, and thus it is treated with great respect. For example, many Aboriginal people will not photograph the Wandjina for fear that their spirit will be captured in the image.

How is Wandjina Rock Art created?

One of the most fascinating aspects of Wandjina rock art is the fact that it is created using a technique that is unique to the Wandjina themselves. This technique, which is known as ‘fresco’, involves painting on wet plaster with pigment-laden water. This results in a form of painting that is incredibly vivid and realistic.

The Wandjina are also believed to have used this fresco technique to create other forms of rock art, including petroglyphs (carvings) and stencils (paintings made by placing a hand or object on a surface and then spraying paint around it). However, the majority of Wandjina rock art takes the form of paintings.

What is the meaning of Wandjina Rock Art?

The Wandjina are white-skinned beings associated with rainfall, thunder and lightning. They are also known as the ‘Sky Men’. The Wandjina are thought to be the creators of the landscape and the people who live in it. They are often depicted with long beards, flowing hair and large eyes. Sometimes they are shown surrounded by clouds or smoke.

The Wandjina Rock Art is found in many caves and rock overhangs across northern Australia. The art is usually painted in red ochre or white kaolin clay on a dark background. The paintings depict the Wandjina as well as other beings, animals and objects.

Some of the most famous examples of Wandjina Rock Art can be found at Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, Katherine Gorge in the Northern Territory, and Mount Drawing near Perth in Western Australia.


It is clear that Wandjina rock art was and is of great significance to the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley region. The art provides evidence of their spiritual beliefs and connection to the land. The Wandjina are powerful beings who control the weather, and the imagery is used to teach tribal law, history and story. The Wandjina are still revered today, and their rock art continues to be an important part of Aboriginal culture.