Aboriginal Beliefs Essays

Aboriginal Beliefs Essays-89
He particularly noted the numerous myths telling of previous sea levels, including: Each language was used for original myths, from which the distinctive words and names of individual myths derive.

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link many sacred sites together in a web of Dreamtime tracks criss-crossing the country. This is an identity of spirit, a consubstantiality, rather than a matter of mere belief...: the Dreaming pre-exists and persists, while its human incarnations are temporary." Aboriginal specialists willing to generalise believe all Aboriginal myths across Australia, in combination, represent a kind of unwritten (oral) library within which Aboriginal peoples learn about the world and perceive a peculiarly Aboriginal 'reality' dictated by concepts and values vastly different from those of western societies:"Aboriginal people learned from their stories that a society must not be human-centred but rather land centred, otherwise they forget their source and purpose ...

Dreaming tracks can run for hundreds, even thousands of kilometres, from desert to the coast [and] may be shared by peoples in countries through which the tracks pass..." Australian anthropologists willing to generalise suggest Aboriginal myths still being performed across Australia by Aboriginal peoples serve an important social function amongst their intended audiences: justifying the received ordering of their daily lives; In addition, such performance often continuously incorporates and "mythologises" historical events in the service of these social purposes in an otherwise rapidly changing modern world. humans are prone to exploitative behaviour if not constantly reminded they are interconnected with the rest of creation, that they as individuals are only temporal in time, and past and future generations must be included in their perception of their purpose in life.""People come and go but the Land, and stories about the Land, stay.

From this time the Guugu Yimidhirr did receive present-day names for places occurring in their local landscape; and the Guugu Yimmidhir may recollect this encounter.

The pan-Australian Captain Cook myth, however, tells of a generic, largely symbolic British character who arrives from across the oceans sometime after the Aboriginal world was formed and the original social order founded.

The many Aboriginal versions of this 'Captain Cook' are rarely oral recollections of encounters with the Lieutenant James Cook who first navigated and mapped Australia's east coast on the HM Bark Endeavour in 1770.

Guugu Yimidhirr predecessors, along the Endeavour River, did encounter James Cook during a 7-week period beached at the site of the present town of Cooktown while the Endeavour was being repaired.Predecessors of the myth tellers encounter a mythical, exotic (most often English) character who arrives from the sea, bringing western colonialism, either offering gifts to the performer's predecessors or bringing great harm upon the performer's predecessors.This key mythical character is most often named 'Captain Cook', this being a 'mythical' character shared with the broader Australian community, who also attribute James Cook with playing a key role in colonising Australia.The term coined by Radcliffe-Brown is now commonly used and familiar to broader Australian and international audiences, as it is increasingly used by government agencies, museums, art galleries, Aboriginal organisations and the media to refer to the pan-Australian Aboriginal myth specifically, and as a shorthand allusion to Australian Aboriginal mythology generally.A number of linguists, anthropologists and others have formally documented another common Aboriginal myth occurring across Australia.The Djabugay language group's mythical being, Damarri, transformed into a mountain range, is seen lying on his back above the Barron River Gorge, looking upwards to the skies, within north-east Australia's wet tropical forested landscape.within each of the language groups across Australia."A mythic map of Australia would show thousands of characters, varying in their importance, but all in some way connected with the land.Some emerged at their specific sites and stayed spiritually in that vicinity. Dixon, recording Aboriginal myths in their original languages, encountered coincidences between some of the landscape details being told about within various myths, and scientific discoveries being made about the same landscapes.This Captain Cook is a harbinger of dramatic transformations in the social order, bringing change and a different social order, into which present-day audiences have been born.(see above regarding this social function played by Aboriginal myths) In 1988 Australian anthropologist Kenneth Maddock assembled several versions of this 'Captain Cook' myth as recorded from a number of Aboriginal groups around Australia."set up the people [cattle industry] to go down the countryside and shoot people down, just like animal, they left them lying there for the hawks and crows...


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