Mask Making – Uluru…Dreamtime

I grew up in a National Geographic household. For as far back as I can recall, my parents subscribed to NatGeo, and it was always a moment of anticipatory joy when the plain brown-paper envelope arrived in the mail with each months issue. As a kid, it was all about the visuals. Archaeology, anthropology, astronomy…nature & culture…exotic people, places and events all brought to you in glorious illustrations and photographs. I think I can credit National Geographic for strongly influencing my worldview, and broadening my outlook immeasurably. It offered a technicolour glimpse of a – then – black and white world.

This is a photo of the first mask I ever made. I created this in high school, and the image was borrowed directly from one of our National Geographics. The face is of an aboriginal


DSCN1318Australian man, and I recall being fascinated with his weathered, sun-baked face. This mask remained unnamed for many years until the Australian government began a policy of renaming prominent landmarks and locations with indigenous names. Uluru is the name given to the former “Ayers Rock” , and is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people of the area.

Dreamtime refers to a religio-cultural worldview attributed to Australian Aboriginal beliefs which goes way way back into the distant past, back to a “time out of time” or an “everywhen” that has been long forgotten…it’s very similar to me trying to remember what I did in high school…luckily, Uluru is there to remind me 🙂


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