Origins of the Universe
Different Aboriginal groups have varying creation stories with some general, common features Ancestors emerged from land features (e.g. rock formations) which are considered Sacred sites These supernatural beings created the natural world
Each group has an ancestor and a natural species or totem (e.g. emu) Sacred Sites
May be land, rock formations, parts of rivers or seas that are linked to Dreaming stories Also may be burial grounds, ceremonial meeting places and other significant places such as birthing caves Some sites are women's Sacred sites, some are men's, and some are for the entire group Stories of the Dreaming
The Dreaming is not regarded as myth by Aboriginal people. It is seen as a reality which consists of the past, present and future Symbolism and Art
Art was connected to the artist's country
Different areas produced different forms of art
Many symbols used in Aboriginal art
Many forms, including body art, painting, carved trees, rock art, bark painting and funerary poles Art was used in the teaching of others - knowledge of food types, sites, water, etc They "painted their Dreaming
Diversity of the Dreaming
There are about 900 Aboriginal nations within Australia and, so, Dreaming stories differ greatly. Each of these nations had its own dialect by which they communicated. This means that the language was different amongst the different groups of Aboriginal people. As a result, there are differences in the Dreaming accounts. Some groups that are close to eachother geographically shared many common elements of their Dreaming stories. Background information
Aboriginal spirituality is based on a variety of beliefs.
All clans believed in an ancestral creative spirit who created all aspects of the world through his/her travels Each area has a particular plant/animal which is a totem for that group of Aboriginal people; the spirit of the ancestor is heavily associated with the totem. Because of this, the people have a kinship with that spirit and are the spiritual 'owners' of that area of land. The people are responsible for that area of land and, along with their kinship with the ancestral spirit, their identity is formed. Rituals and Ceremonies
Each group has its own particular Dreaming.
The Dreamings are manifested in many ways, but especially through special ritual actions. The participants in a ceremony are dealing directly with their ancestor being; they become their totem spirit. The ground becomes completely filled with the lifeforce of the Dreaming. The Dreaming is re-created in the present time and space for as long as the ceremony lasts. Importance and Functions of Ceremony
The religious rituals serve a variety of purposes.
They honour the totem ancestors
The MAIN purpose of ceremonies is to participate in the original acts of the creative spirits, bringing the Dreaming into the "here and now". Importance of the Dreaming for the lives of Aboriginal peoples Religion is a means for people to find answers to life's big questions. With Aboriginal spirituality, the natural and the supernatural are extremely closely linked Their spirituality is lived in their day to day lives and their supernatural deities are active in their activities TOTEM ANCESTORS
Totems are respected but they are not worshipped.
Ceremony places the people in direct contact with their ancestor spirit LIFE
Aboriginal spirituality is celebrated through devotional practices (signs, symbols, etc) Life was initiated in the Dreaming and so life is very much connected with eternity Life is taken as Sacred; it is a miracle.
Death is seen as a necessary part of life.
"Whatever is born must kill to eat and grow, and then it dies and is reborn" All being participate in this life cycle
Rituals for the dead ensure the departed spirit returns to the spirit world RESPONSIBILITY
Aboriginal Law is based on the belief that everything that exists is connected and part of...
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