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In 1879 The South Australian Journalist J D Woods (1879, P.Xxxviii) In Predicting The Future Of Aboriginal Societies Argued That:

657 words - 3 pages

European history is well documented. It has also been passed down through the generations via songs, stories, ceremonies and media. To the initial European mind, the Australian Indigenous people had no history, as there was little or no evidence in the form of written documents. Therefore, any historical claims were deemed invalid so as J D Woods writes, “Without a history they have no past”. The Australian Indigenous people had no means or need to document and record their history as they constantly relive their creation through songs, dances, stories, ceremonies and rituals, initiations and rites of passage this is known in English as The Dreaming. The ceremonies recreate the Dreaming to explain and teach the laws passed down from the ancestor spirits or beings.

Following Woods comment “without a religion they have no hope” the European settlers claimed the religion of the Australian Indigenous people to be invalid due to lack of written material evidence and no real shrines or buildings to indicate a place of worship. The Dreaming is the best explanation of Australian Indigenous religion, the Mother Earth was a creation of the Ancestral Beings who roamed the land and made its features, rivers and all the different species. The spirits of these beings were passed onto their descendants as a kangaroo, tree, or any one of thousands of species, which then became the descendants and language groups Totem. Each language group has its own land area and songs, dances, stories, ceremonies and rituals. There are obligations of the language groups to kin, species and land to care for each other. This makes the land a living entity where the whole is balanced by its varied parts. The various language groups had different rites and beliefs, customs and laws, which the older generation passed on and taught through songs, dances, stories, ceremonies and rituals, initiations and rites of passage. In special circumstances, beliefs and ceremonies were expressed through the painting of bodies as part of dances and ceremonies emulates...

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