The mystifying markings of the Red Hands Cave
Keep a sharp eye out for this one, as the Red Hands Cave in the far north of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is easy to miss. This small cave is decorated with the hand prints of the Garrigal people, the local clan which occupied the area. There’s something so very human, yet mesmerising, about these faded imprints of our ancestors stenciled on the cave walls. Thought to have been originally made between 500 and 2,000 years ago, the faint impressions are now barely visible to the naked eye. Sadly, little is known about these fascinating human markings; now just whispers on the wall from a past near-forgotten. Ochre hand stencils are a common motif throughout the ancient world, dating back as far as the Palaeolithic. What is the meaning behind these mystifying markings that adorn cave walls throughout history – a ritualistic symbol, or the artists confirmation of his or her own self-awareness?