The native people of Australia are known as Aborigines. This name means "from the beginning", as they are thought to have lived in Australia for over fifty thousand years. The Aborigines evolved through a complex religion. It was beautiful and unique. So completely interwoven was it into their daily lives, that everything - their art, their music, their dancing, and their spirituality - became a manifestation of it. Spirituality for Indigenous Australians takes many forms. Its forms and practices have been profoundly influenced by the impact of colonialism, both past and present.
Religion for the Aborigines was not a matter of attending a weekly ceremony. It was woven into, and given meaning to, the whole fabric of their existence. Within their boundaries the Aborigines moved according to the availability of food, tracking animals and following seasonal fruits and berries. They were, in fact, so skilled in hunting and food gathering that not only did they eat well, but they had time to spare for leisure.
The Aboriginals were not cultivators, and Australia provided no animals suitable for herding, so they lived by food gathering and hunting, in which activities they were limited by distance from fresh water.
The significance and meaning of 'the Dreaming' is central to Aboriginal spirituality. Each Aboriginal group is connected with the Dreaming and is aware its unique identity is derived from it. Aboriginals today, continue to emerge from the Dreaming, yet they are still intensely connected with it till this day. The Dreaming includes all aspects of Aboriginal life, and because of the vast scale it encompasses, it is a challenging task to link it entirely to a specific typology in the study of religion.
The 'Dreaming', is an English term which attempts to convey Aboriginal spirituality. There is no single term that can sum...