Some australian history: The Aboriginals and The Rainbow Serpent

Australia’s Aboriginals culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. It all started about 45 000 years ago. They believe that it was them who “made the world”.

The people didn´t stay in one place, but moved seasonally between settlements near the sea. They lived by hunting and gathering, and they were experts in seeking out water. The aboriginals were mostly peaceful people, the historians say that they never needed to be warriors because they knew their land and their boundaries.

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The Aboriginals were very religious people. Their religion is now called “the dreaming” or “the dream time”. Their most religious beliefs are derived from a sense of belonging-to-the-land, to the sea, to other people, to one’s country.

What is the Dreaming? “The Dreaming means our identity as people. The cultural teaching and everything, that’s part of our lives here, you know?… it’s the understanding of what we have around us.” Merv Penrith, Elder, Wallaga Lake, 1996

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The Aboriginals religion symbols

Nowadays most of the Aboriginals people live in cities and the suburbs. Many have their own farms and animals.Some Aboriginals still live in remote areas and still practice some of their traditional ways of life but these groups are scare.

The Aboriginals are an equivalent to Samer, also called Native Norwegian Indians. They are both indigenous.

The rainbow serpent is an old australian story about how countries went from a flat landscape with humans as the only creatures, to mountains, valleys and several animals. The story is named for the obvious identification between the shape of a rainbow and the shape of a snake. Some scholars have suggested that the link between the snake and a rainbow suggests the cycle of the seasons and the importance of water in human life.When the rainbow is seen in the sky, it is said to be the Rainbow Serpent moving from one waterhole to another, and the spiritual concept explained why some waterholes never dried up when drought struck.

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More concrete, the story is about a massive snake which is described as a “creator god”, because it structured the landscape as it moved around.

A summary of “The Rainbow Serpent”

The short story “The Rainbow Serpent” is a story about a giant serpent called Goorialla. The serpent lived in Dreamtime. There were no animals, vegetation, hills or mountains, the only thing that existed were humans and Goorialla.

Gorialla travled from the South to the North in Australia looking for its tribe. On his journey to find its tribe it met many people who spoke a different tongue, its gigantic body made creeks, rivers and even mountains. After traveling north it found its tribe in a place where to rivers crossed. It watched them dance and sing for a long time before it came out and was welcomed by its people. The serpent taught its people to dance and how to dress.

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The people then noticed that a big storm was brewing so they started building shelters, but there weren’t enough supplies to build shelter for everyone so the serpent told to brothers to seek shelter inside its mouth. Gorialla then swallowed the brothers whole, it then fled the area in fear of what the people would do when they found out. When the tribe noticed that both the serpent and the brothers were gone they put two and two together and started hunting the serpent.

Many tribe members tried to climb a tall mountain where they had discovered Gorialla, when they reached the top they found the serpent sleeping. They decided to cut open the serpent’s stomach and free the brothers from Gorialla. But when they cut it open the brothers had turned in to parrots with all the colors of the rainbow. The brothers were now free and could fly away. The tribe proceeded to climb down the mountain whilst Gorialla was sleeping. When the serpent awoke it became enraged and started throwing giant rocks from the mountain. These rocks killed many tribe members who were trying to flee the area. The rocks also became the mountains and hills that are still standing today.

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The rest of the tribe turned into many different animals and insects in an attempt to escape from Gorialla. In the end Gorialla slithered into the ocean and disappeared. Some legends even say that Gorialla is still watching over Australia.

Written by:
Me, FredrikkeNora and Mathias. (be sure to check out their blogs as well! :D)

Sources:
http://australianmuseum.net.au/indigenous-australia-spirituality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqkgKkW8o6E
http://www.aboriginalculture.com.au/religion.shtml
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Serpent

 

 

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