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. The impact of British colonisation resulted in Australia being declared 'terra-nullius' 'land belonging to no-one' and Aboriginal peoples were subject to policies of dispossession and protectionism in a bid to the eventual demise of all facets of their traditional culture. (http://www.bookrags.com/essay-2005/3/2/5583/41950, 2005) The policy of 'terra nullius' saw many Aboriginal peoples driven off their land as squatters, pastoralists, settlers and farmers occupied traditional Aboriginal land for agricultural purposes. For Aboriginal peoples, dislocation from their land stripped them of their culture and language. To the Aborigines land is a source of teaching that provides answers to the universal questions of man, the origins of the universe, laws of nature, family life, death and life after death. Separation/protection resulted in the Aborigines being removed from traditional lands and herded into holding camps in order to keep them out of sights of white colonists. This loss of land of the Aboriginals also resulted in the loss of traditional authority structures, oral tradition and language. “When the land, being the basis of the elders teaching is lost, respect for elders decreases,
Question 1 continued:
language groups break down and belief systems are devalued.” (http://www.bookrags.com/essay-2005/3/2/5583/41950, 2005) Removal from the land causes a loss of spiritual identity and loss of purpose in life. By losing their land, they have lost a part of themselves that can never be replaced. The removal of their land destroyed their kinship system and went against what...