Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Kimberley has a cultural history stretching back tens of thousands of years, rich in objects, ceremonies, songs, stories and dance. Explore this living culture.
Match the words to their meaning
What do you know about the Kimberley?
'Rainbow Snake' riji
Activity: Consider this quote by artist and Bardi and Djawi Elder Aubrey Tigan:
[Aalingoon the Rainbow Snake] came down here … and lives beneath the sea. He comes every full moon, when it’s a big tide. As he floats on his back … the scales fall off his back and turn into goowarn (pearl shell) as they drift down to the seabed below.
Rainbow snakes or serpents feature in the creation stories of many regions in Australia. Find out more about creation stories and the Dreaming. You can start with this video on the First Australians website.
Museums and collectors
Activity: Read this quote from Wangkajunga man Putuparri Tom Lawford and discuss what you think he means:
All that stuff in museums … bring everything back ... They belong to people and they got big stories about that one little thing ... Bring the stuff to them because it was taken from them. It should be back to them. [Then] we go out bush, we sing them back to life.
Activity: Emile Clement was an active collector in north-west Western Australia in the 1890s. Have a class discussion about the impact of this collecting.
Old: Emile Clement was an active collector in north-west Western Australia in the 1890s. Have a class discussion and list some of the positives and some of the negatives of this collecting. Once your class has made a list, write a paragraph that explains if you think Emile Clement’s collecting was a good or a bad thing.