The Aboriginals believed that the entire world was made by their Ancestors way back in the very beginning of time, the Dreamtime.
The Ancestors made everything. The Ancestors made particular sites to show the Aboriginal people which places were to be sacred. The Aboriginals performed ritual ceremonies and customary songs near the sacred sites to please the Ancestral spirits and to keep themselves alive.
Distinct tribes had different philosophies and beliefs about the Ancestors who made the world. Some believed that the Ancestors were animal-spirits.
Should I use 'Dreaming' or 'Dreamtime'?
In other places the spirit who created the world were believed to be the Wanadjina. Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture. It dates back some 65, years.
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It is the story of events that have happened, how the universe came to be, how human beings were created and how their Creator intended for humans to function within the world as they knew it. Aboriginal people understood the Dreamtime as a beginning that never ended. They held the belief that the Dreamtime is a period on a continuum of past, present and future.
What is the 'Dreamtime' or the 'Dreaming'?
Listening, smelling, tasting, touching and seeing so that you experience Nature in a way that triggers your sense of reconnection and belonging to and custodianship of Mother Earth. Individual participation in and group witnessing of Aboriginal Ceremonies to honor the Dreamtime creators and the ways in which they continue to shape our individual and collective identities. More info.
Your initiation into the multi-dimensional kinship systems of belonging. Discover your personal totems, group totems and totems which belong to your Aboriginal Nation. Explore the ways in which the clan group boundaries determine and inform kinship systems of land use and land management.
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The Dreamtime did not only take place at the beginning of time - it encompasses the past, present, and future. As a holistic philosophy grounded in the very earth itself, it cannot be consigned to a past people.
It is an integrated way of life that the Warlpiri people believe in to this day. The stories may differ from place to place, but they have common features. For example, many genesis narratives feature Ancestral Beings, who created everything - animals, plants, rocks, and land formations - as they moved through the land in human form. They also created a system of relationships between the individual, the land, animals, and other people. The Ancestral Beings are models for human and non-human activity, behaviour, ethics and morality.
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These stories display a deep knowledge of country. They contain key information about flora, fauna, and laws to obey in order to survive in micro-environments. During pre-contact days, these stories were an integral and memorable way in which to impart knowledge from one generation to the next to ensure survival.
The Ancestral Beings are often compared to the Greek gods, as they are flawed characters used as negative exemplars.