Sor 2 Notes, All Topics

Topics: Native title, Indigenous Australians, Wik Peoples v Queensland Pages: 5 (1956 words) Published: May 23, 2012
Contemporary Aborigional SpiritualitiesDiscuss how aboriginal spirituality is determined by the dreaming -Kinship-Ceremonial Life -Obligations to the land and peopleAboriginal spirituality is determined by the kinship because kinship is the fabric of traditional aborigional society. In this extended family everybody is related through the complex web of the dreaming.Tribes are made up of clans decended from a spirit ancestor denoted by a totem. The natural totem is from the clans region. It unifies the clan under the leadership of the spirit ancestor, creating a dreaming kinship with other clans bearing the same totem.Individuals have their own totem as traditional aboriginal society believes that procreation was a dreaming event. This creates a bond between a human and his or her totem and a dreaming kinship with others bearing the same totem. A son adopts his dead fathers totem and dreaming kin.Members of kinship groups are expected to meet obligations such as obeying tribal laws and subordinating individual interests to the greater community good. Aboriginal kinship groupd have a network of giving and receiving, of rights and obligations. The spirits require the kinship group to act as custodians of their territory and totem.Aborigional spirituality is determined by the dreaming ceremonial life because all ceremonies re-affirm the dreaming. They are vital because dreaming events that happened in the remote past are believed to be also happening in the present via the ceremonial activity. Ceremonies allow th participants to spiritually transform and ascend towards the spirit ancestors. Aborigional people are positively obliged to take part in such ceremonies.Death and burial ceremonies vary but all emphasise the ongoing reality of the dreaming. On death, a persons spirit reintegrates into the world of the dreaming and merges with their totemic being. Songs are sung to hasten his or her journey and the coffin is painted with messages asking the spirits to guide the deceased back to the clan

Aborigional spitituality is determined by the dreaming obligations to the land and people because aborigional people consider the land, the people and the dreaming all part of one mutually dependant relationship. One element cannot function without the other two. As with the kinship system, the land, the people and the dreaming comprise a complex system of reciporcal obligations and rights, all of which contribute to the ongoing physical and spiritual well-being of each other. The land is not there to be mercilessly exploited and is more likely to provide for human beings if its kurunba (life-essence) is respected. Tribal law forbids any act that disrespects or exploits nature and totemic taboos and restrictions must always be observed. Humans must also assist the land in living via the performance of ceremonies and rituals. If the ceremonies are not observed then the power of the land to renew itself will fail and natural disasters will occur

Discuss the continuing effect of dispossession on aborigional spiritualities in relation to:-Seperation from the land-Seperation from kinship groups-The stolen generationsThe continuing effect of dispossession on aboriginal spititualities in relation to seperation from the land is one of immense stress to the spirituality. This began with the initial dispossession of european settlement and aborigional spiritualities remain, for the most part, a long way from recovering. The arrival of the europeans and the forced dispossession of aborigional people from the land meant access to sacred sites was denied. Seperated from their dreaming lands meant they had, in effect, lost their spirituality and totemic identity and became non-beings. The sistainig ceremonies could not be held.The continuing effect of dispossession on aboriginal spititualities in relation to seperation from kinship groups has meant the inevitable breakdown of the kinship system as tribes and individuals were isolated from their...
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