The Dreamtime

“Nature” has permeated the lives of the Australian aborigines. The earth – and especially its fauna – the sea and the sky and natural forces – the rain, the wind and stars – all figure in their mythology – “The Dreamtime” (the Creation Period).  Daily life has been regulated by “The Dreamtime” and mythological history is recreated through dance, music and chants, rituals, painting and rock art, story-telling and dramas.  Some of the animals that figure prominently in the mythology of the aborigines include birds such as magpies, crows, eagles, black swans, the brolga and kestrels.  Other subjects are the dingo, kangaroo, bandicoot, whale, echidna and gecko.  In one myth the gecko – Ipilya – is creator of thunderstorms and monsoon rains.  The graceful brolga – a grey crane found in northern Australia – is featured in a popular dance, while magpies were believed to have separated the earth and the sky so that the rising sun could be seen and beautiful sunrises appreciated – the magpies then greeted the sunrise by singing melodiously.

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