Why are some animals still painting?
A boat painting is a way of saying goodbye to an old friend or a lost pet.
The practice originated in ancient China, but is still practiced by many people around the world.
The oldest recorded painting is found in the city of Tientsin in China, and was painted on the walls of a temple in the 4th century BC.
Its a process that requires the use of paint brushes, and can take up to five hours to complete.
Painting has been a part of Aboriginal culture for thousands of years.
In Australia, the painting tradition is said to have been started by Aboriginal Australians and continues to be practised today.
The word ‘diamond’ is a symbol of power and pride, but also a symbol for wealth, status and prosperity.
It is thought that the colour was inspired by the diamond that was cut into the rock that made up the traditional home of the Aboriginal people.
Ancient Australians also used the term ‘dew’ to describe the natural stone, the mineral used to make the paint.
Dew was said to be very hard and to be a good conductor of electricity.
As well as being a traditional way of dealing with sadness, the practice is also used to communicate to animals.
According to some experts, the use has evolved from an Aboriginal belief that animals were not meant to be left to their own devices.
“Dew painting is very important for Aboriginal Australians because it’s about expressing our sense of care and connection with the land, with the water, with our neighbours, with nature,” said Dr Richard Hinchliffe from the University of New South Wales.
Some of the more unusual Aboriginal practices that are still practiced in Australia include: Dry ice and ice sculptures on river banks, including the famous ‘Crown of Dews’ in the Darling Downs region, where people paint on the banks of the Macarthur River.
Walking in a circle, painted in a red or white colour on a hillside, is a traditional practice in New South Welsh regions.
People are said to use a special spray that is made from a combination of water, dirt and wood, to create a misty, blue colour on the ground.
Painted on the side of a cliff, the colours represent the colour of the sky.
Dr Hinchbile said it is thought the painting originated in the Kimberley, where the practice was popularised in the late 18th century.
Boat paint is believed to be the first form of painting that existed in Australia, and is the reason the Australian Museum in Melbourne has so many of the ancient Chinese paintings that have survived.
A painting can last for years, as it is not always possible to paint over it.
Other traditional Aboriginal practices include: Pouring a bucket of water into the eye of a dying animal, to give it a new life.
Hanging on a tree branch to see if the bird will come down.
Using the ‘dough’ that was used to paint on rocks to decorate a new room or shed.
Removing a tattoo with the help of the feathers and then putting the bird back on it.