Region of origin: Kimberly, Western Australia

Creator deities of the Mowanjum people, the wandjina were said to arrive to the Dreamtime from the clouds and crafted the earth and the beings that lived there. They taught humanity things it needed to survive, but could also bring punishment in the form of harsh weather. When they were done, they prepared to leave into the earth and under the sea, leaving paintings of themselves on caves in the region which have since been maintained by the indigenous people. From the stories of the “sky beings” descending from the heavens and the paintings’ resemblance to the modern stereotypical depiction of an alien, the wandjina are often held up as a possible example of “ancient astronauts” who visited earth and encountered humans early in their development.

Originally posted on Tumblr on July 28, 2016

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