Aboriginal Australia as a Dream Culture

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To better understand Aboriginals as a Dream Culture I want to give more insight into Aboriginal Australians general culture and their conceptions of “Dream Time.” In his discussion of religion, Mircea Eliade describes a concept of Cosmos vs Chaos (Eliade 1957). In this notion an unordered world is chaotic only until is it transposed during a sacred time: “By occupying it and, above all, by settling in it, man symbolically transforms it into a cosmos though a ritual repetition of the cosmogony” (Eliade 1957:31). In other words until a land is tamed or created it is considered unordered. This can be applied to Aboriginal’s understanding of the world prior to their current presence. Aboriginals believe that in a time before the Dreamings, the land and world was a featureless earth. It was not until the dreamtime, or time of creation: “where there is contact with appearances from both realms of inside the earth itself as from ill-defined upper region” that the earth began to have its composed landscapes (Cowan 1992:26). The Dream Time is not only a period but more of a dimension where ancestral beings moved across the earth and created not only land, but every aspect of the earth including animals, plants, and man. It is important to realize that the ancestors created the natural earth and that is why Aboriginals live a particular lifestyle. Most Aboriginals living in this cosmogony are hunter-gatherer tribes. This aspect of their life can be traced to stem from the idea of

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