Aboriginal engravings in the southwest of Western Australia: analysis of the Kybra Site

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 8 months ago

ABSTRACT – This paper presents an analysis of Aboriginal rock engravings in the far southwestern corner of Western Australia that were first described by Clarke in 1983, the Kybra Site. Comprising engravings of predominantly animal tracks, particularly bird tracks, on flat tabular limestone pavements, the site appeared to extend the known range of a group of rock engravings known as the Panaramitee. Engraving sites of this tradition are widely distributed across Australia, and the Panaramitee has been represented as homogeneous at a continental level. A multivariate investigation using correspondence analysis and cluster analysis was undertaken comparing the Kybra Site with other engraving sites in Western Australia and elsewhere. The aim was to determine whether the Kybra Site showed similarities with other Panaramitee engraving sites, and whether an explanatory framework, known as the Discontinuous Dreaming Network Model, could account for any similarities or differences identified. I found that the Western Australian sites are more different to each other than they are to other sites in eastern Australia, and reveal similarities with engravings in Cape York Peninsula, the Carpentaria region and central western Queensland. This finding fits well with the tenets of the Discontinuous Dreaming Network Model, which holds that the similarities between engraving sites across vast distances of Australia reflect the widespread links forged by Dreaming tracks and suggested by thetrade and other social networks that sometimes spanned the continent.

Author(s) Natalie R. Franklin
Records 24 : Part 1
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