Also called the Dreamtime
, this refers to a collection of Australian art
. Before Europeans
arrived Aboriginal people had responsibility to care for and manage the land
which belonged to their particular Aboriginal
group. They respected the land in a sacred way.
Aboriginal people believe that they are part of the land, which they often refer to as "mother earth". They believe strongly that they were always here and that they come from the land.
'Aboriginal people relate to the time of creation through the Dreaming, which also explains how Dreaming Stories tell about the Spirit Ancestors who created the land and its many features such as plants, the hills, mountains; waters that flow in the creeks, rivers, lakes and seas, as well as the sun, the moon and the stars; the seasons, the animals and the people. Aboriginal people have responsibility to ensure that the natural balance is maintained.
The way of educating children is through the telling, over and over again, of Dreaming stories. They explained that our Spirit Ancestor can be in the form of an animal, a man or a particular feature of the environment. They explained how out Spirit Ancestor laid down the laws for how people are to behave, what is good and what is bad, and the history of their environment.
Dreaming stories are related to the secret and sacred ceremonies that are performed and sung. The Dreaming is central to the existence of Aboriginal people. It gives meaning to everyday life. The Dreaming explains why many things are the way they are. It prescribes the social structure and teaches you the relationship between people, the environment, to the particular area they belong to and where they come from.
The Dreaming determines their values, beliefs and their relationship with every living and nonliving thing. It gives a clear picture of land without maps, so people can travel safely and confidently within their boundaries. The Dreaming is as important to Aboriginal people as the Bible is to Christians. The Dreaming is very important to all Aboriginal people: when they refer to the 'Dreaming' it has a deep and sacred meaning. It means more than just telling Dreaming stories for enjoyment.