There are many names and stories associated with the Rainbow Serpent, all of which communicate its significance within Aboriginal traditions, most particularly as a symbol of fertility, peace and unity.
Dreamtime stories tell how the Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges as it pushed upward. The name also reflects the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the colour spectrum sometimes seen when sunlight hits water at a certain angle.
Paintings of the Rainbow Serpent first appeared in Arnhem Land rock art more than 6000 years ago and have continued today as works on bark and on paper.
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