Crocodile Artworks & Paintings
Crocodile artwork comes mostly from Aboriginal artists of the north of Australia, and is connected both with hunting and with Creation stories and totems.
Doris Gingingara | Crocodile Hunting Barramundi
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The crocodile is a dominant animal in the waters of northern Australia, with different species found in both freshwater sites and in the sea. Crocodile paintings reflect the Aboriginal history of co-existence with the animal world. The crocodile is part of the Dreaming Creation stories in areas where they crocodiles are common in the environment. Crocodile paintings come from Aboriginal communities in Kimberley, Northern Territory, Arnhemland, Queensland and island communities off the North coast of Australia.
At Daly River in Northern Territory a traditional story tells about the origin of the patterns on crocodile skin. A man famous for his fishing skills was stalked by other jealous men from his tribe. They wanted to kill him and so crept up and threw a fishing net over him. They bound him up and threw him in the river. Then his wife wrapped herself up in her own fishing net and out of despair drowned herself in the river. The husband and wife formed into the saltwater crocodile. The crocodile skin still has the pattern formed by the bodies of these two people – the little squares are where the bodies bulge out from their nets.
Crocodiles are associated with totems around Creation spirits in the Kimberley. Rock art galleries of northern Australia show images of the crocodile that date back thousands of years.
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Artists who paint Crocodile: