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Aboriginal Dreaming Stories - The Seven Sisters


The Seven Sisters Dreaming


Long ago in the Dreaming there were seven sisters who were foraging for food in the bush when they came across two hunters from a different skin group. They invited the men to share their food and drink but gradually realized that they had more amorous intentions. The sisters, who did not want to break the traditional laws that forbade romantic relationships with other skin groups, fled their camp with the men in hot pursuit.

The Ancestral Spirits, who saw what was happening, saved the sisters' honour by lifting them into the sky where they assumed the form of the stars that we know as the Pleiades. Now at night in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, you can see the Seven Sisters fleeing across the sky, still pursued but never to be caught by the two hunters.


The Pleiades (Seven Sisters)

The Pleiades (Seven Sisters)

The story of the 'The Seven Sisters' is a popular Dreaming that occurs in various forms in different Aboriginal language groups. It uses the group of stars known as 'The Pleiades' as a metaphor to illustrate traditional marriage laws and the protection and power of ancestral spirits. The Pleiades star cluster has inspired similar stories that appear in Native American, Hindu and Ancient Greek mythology [1].

The Painting Process for our Page Illustration

Many of the topics in our Aboriginal Art lessons are illustrated with a painting that was inspired by the theme of that page. To help you understand the technique used for each painting, we have deconstructed its development in the form of a slide show. Once you see a step by step analysis of how each image is constructed, it may provide you with a model that you can adapt for your own ideas.

(Click on the play buttons or swipe back and forward to explore each stage of our painting.)


  • The symbols and images used to create our art lessons are taken from the two pages above. These illustrations are free to download and and print for your own use. The symbols and images are by no means exclusive and you should feel free to add your own.