The Dreaming is a way for Indigenous people to understand the world through its creation and stories. It was created a long time ago when creation began and a way for Indigenous people to express life and what The Dreaming means to the Indigenous community.
Aboriginals or indigenous Australians are the native people of Australia. Aboriginals were nomadic people who came to Australia about 40,000 – 60,000 years ago from Southeast Asia. Religion is a great part of Aboriginal culture. The essay answers these questions: What do Aboriginals belief? What is a Kinship system? What is Dreaming and Dreamtime? What rituals does Aboriginals have?
"Aboriginal people are a steady beating heart at the centre of our Australian spiritual identity."
Aboriginal spirituality is directly linked to dreaming. The dreaming is the term which refers to the past, future and present of Aboriginal spirituality. The dreaming grasps the Aboriginal ideas of creation. It is the foundation on which the Aboriginal religion is built upon. The impacts of dispossession on Aboriginal spiritualties concerning separation from the land, the stolen generation and separation from kinship group is discussed. Departure from the land started with the European settlement. It removed the sense of belonging and sense of spiritual identity. One of the first forms of dispossession even date back to when the first fleet arrived in 1778. The removal of Aboriginal people from their land had a detrimental effect on their spirituality
For Aboriginal Australians, the land has a special significance that is rarely understood by those of European descent. The land, or country, does not only sustain Aborigines in material ways, such as providing food and shelter, it also plays a major role in their spiritual lives. As Rose put it, "Land provides for my physical needs and spiritual needs." (1992, p.106). To use Rose 's own term, to Aboriginals the land is a 'nourishing terrain '. (1996, p.7).
“When you sit in your own country, your spirits lift and you are again truly back to the land where things make sense and your life has meaning” – Galarruy Yunupingu.
The Dreamtime is in relation to when all things came into being, when the mountains were formed and when the rivers were formed. The Dreaming is the stories and practices that stem from the dreamtime but they are continuous, they give you the rules of behaviour, social practices and they explain the history of the landscape. The Dreaming explores the past, the present and the future.
Aboriginal religion is based on land. Land is the heart of Aboriginal Dreaming and provides the assurance needed for the continuation of rituals and ceremonies (king, 2010, p.213). The effect of Dispossession on Aboriginal spiritualities related to the separation from their land was enormous and overwhelmingly detrimental.
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
The Australian Indigenous community hold extremely significant corrections to the land of Australia, of which they refer to as ‘Country.’ Indigenous people acquire deep meaning from the land, sea and the countless resources derived from them. This special relationship has formed for many centuries. To them ‘Country’ is paramount for overall wellbeing; the strong, significant, spiritual bonds embody their entire existence. Knowledge is continually passed down to create an unbroken connection of past,
Aboriginal people believe their ancestors were created in Australia at a time in the past called the dreaming (Kohen, 2006). Aboriginal people have been in Australia more than 50,000 to 120,000 years. There were more than 300,000 Aboriginal people living in Australia when the British arrived in 1788 (Purdie, et al., 2010).
The Indigenous Australian imagination perceives the way of the world and all that exists as not the result of a singular force or mind, but, rather, the result of powerful totemic ancestral beings who once roamed the land. This ontological tradition, known as “The Dreaming”, serves as an infinite link between past and present, people and place, and both the natural and spiritual world. “The Dreaming,” then, asserts that all of humanity and nature in its entirety is alive and connected. In his ethnographic account titled, Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self, Fred Myers examines the importance of The Dreaming to Pintupi society and its centrality in the constitution of their lived world. Descriptions of what happened in The Dreaming underlie Pintupi social relationships and constructions of “country.” It is through this mythological construct that the Pintupi Aboriginal people mediate their relationships with the land and negotiate aspects of personhood and identity.
The colonisation' of Australia by Europeans has caused a lot of problem for the local Aborigines. It drastically reduced their population, damaged ancient family ties, and removed thousands of Aboriginal people from the land they had lived on for centuries. In many cases, the loss of land can mean more than just physical displacement. Because land is so much connected to history and spirituality, the loss of it can lead to a loss of identity. This paper will examine the works of Tim Rowse and Jeremy Beckett as well as other symbols of identity that are available to modern Aborigines in post colonial Australia.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a strong spiritual relation to the land and the Sun – the giver of life and protector. This is evident in the Aboriginal flag where Black represents the Aboriginal people, yellow represents the Sun and giver of life and protector and Red as the earth. All these beliefs are intertwined in the way they live their lives and the practices they perform.
Dreams have played a very crucial role to cultures through the years. The aborigines have believed that the stories of the world’ very start as the realization of their dreaming. Native Americans have believed that their dreams are doorways to the spiritual world, ways to quests and prophecies.