Aboriginal Australians traditionally used art as a means of communication or expression in different forms such as rock engravings, cave paintings and designs cut into trees, wooden articles such as boomerangs and on their bodies (scarification). The symbols of their artwork were expressions of their beliefs, the Dreamtime and Dreaming stories or in some cases were records of specific events. Whatever they drew, engraved or painted onto such surfaces as sand, earth, rock, trees or wood had significant meanings to them.
The term art, broadly interpreted, also includes story telling, song, music and dance. These forms of Aboriginal art were often sacred because of their connection to the Dreamtime and Aboriginal spiritual beliefs, or because they were accessible only to initiated adults. Other stories were secular (non-sacred) and included stories for children and those that recorded major events such as great battles, memorable hunting expeditions or the arrival of Europeans and others into their country.