Essay about Explain What is Meant by the Term the Dreaming

Submitted By gsantoro
Words: 984
Pages: 4


1. Explain what is meant by the term ‘The Dreaming’

The Dreaming is the sacred stories of the Aboriginal people, and is the basis of all aspects of Aboriginal life, religion and spirituality. It communicates important knowledge, cultural values and belief systems through song, dance, word of mouth and paintings. Their name varies across different regions, although they all translate to the word ‘Dreaming’, which can also mean ‘to see and understand the law’.

Dreaming occurs in a timeless place, unlike Dreamtime, which occurred in the distant past. People often misunderstand the two, although they are completely different. ‘Everywhen’ is the parallel spirit world where the Dreaming is present, which can be joined to the present-day world through rituals celebrating the activities of Spirit-beings.

These Spirit-beings may be encountered during dreams. These dreams recount new parts of the story or rituals. Through this, Aboriginal people experience the wholeness and holiness of all aspects of life. They are born into a Dreaming and through initiation rituals, they learn about their life and what the Dreaming means to them. They have special personal experiences that they believe gives them the power to heal and protect.

Women also take part in the religion, caring for the land as well as taking part in procreative and social functions.

2. A) Name your chosen ATSI tribe/clan/language group

I have chosen the Wiradjuri people

B) Locate on a map of Australia where your chosen ATSI tribe is located

C) Describe one of their beliefs in a divine spirit OR deity OR ancestral being(s)


D) Write about one creation story

One creation story the Wiradjuri people believed in was called ‘Why the Kookaburra Laughs’. The story is about the creation of the Sun.

It tells of a young world where there was no sun – there were only the stars, which were the campfires of all the Sky People and the moon. The Sky people gathered the wood they needed for their campfire and every night they lit their campfires.

On Earth, everyone lived in Darkness and fought each other. The bush turkey and emu always fought and one day the bush turkey picked up the biggest emu egg and threw it in the air and it landed on the wood the Sky people had gathered and started a fire. The fire grew and grew and they saw all the colours of the rainbow and the heat from the sun. The fire was like the Sun. The people on Earth wanted the Sky People to keep making the sun rise, although they kept getting the timing wrong – sometimes the Sun would come up in the afternoon.

They needed someone to wake them up and they found the Kookaburra. Every morning, the Kookaburra would wake up the sky people so they could start the Sun, and in return the Sun would warm the feathers of the Kookaburra.

E) Outline one of their sacred ceremonies

The initiation ceremony of the Wiradjuri people was an important ceremony in their community. The initiation was similar to other clans from the new South Wales region, in particular the Burbung tribe. The ceremony involved drawing a large serpent on the ground as well as other spiritual animals and objects like an emu’s egg, a dog, a kangaroo and a boomerang. Before the initiation, they danced and decorated themselves with paint and put feathers in their hair. The novices (the boys that were being initiated) had their upper front tooth knocked out. The boy’s guardian would knock out the tooth by pushing back the gum and by placing his own lower teeth behind the tooth being removed. He would then pull upwards and if this didn’t remove it then it would be knocked out with a stick or stone. There would be various ceremonies after the removing of the tooth, and the boys would be initiated into manhood.

F) How are the spiritual/religious beliefs of your chosen ATSI tribe similar to your own religious…