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This is a wisdom that takes lifetimes of listening, observing and experiencing ...
It is only when talking and being with these people that these 'feelings' can truly be appreciated. the intangible reality of these people..." In 1926 a British anthropologist specialising in Australian Aboriginal ethnology and ethnography, Professor Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, noted many Aboriginal groups widely distributed across the Australian continent all appeared to share variations of a single (common) myth telling of an unusually powerful, often creative, often dangerous snake or serpent of sometimes enormous size closely associated with the rainbows, rain, rivers, and deep waterholes.
Radcliffe-Brown coined the term 'Rainbow Serpent' to describe what he identified to be a common, recurring myth.
Working in the field in various places on the Australian continent, he noted the key character of this myth (the 'Rainbow Serpent') is variously named: Kanmare (Boulia, Queensland); Tulloun: (Mount Isa, Queensland); Andrenjinyi (Pennefather River, Queensland), Takkan (Maryborough, Queensland); Targan (Brisbane, Queensland); Kurreah (Broken Hill, New South Wales); Wawi (Riverina, New South Wales), Neitee & Yeutta (Wilcannia, New South Wales), Myndie (Melbourne, Victoria); Bunyip (Western Victoria); Arkaroo (Flinders Ranges, South Australia); Wogal (Perth, Western Australia); Wanamangura (Laverton, Western Australia); Kajura (Carnarvon, Western Australia); Numereji (Kakadu, Northern Territory).
This 'Rainbow Serpent' is generally and variously identified by those who tell 'Rainbow Serpent' myths, as a snake of some enormous size often living within the deepest waterholes of many of Australia's waterways; descended from that larger being visible as a dark streak in the Milky Way, it reveals itself to people in this world as a rainbow as it moves through water and rain, shaping landscapes, naming and singing of places, swallowing and sometimes drowning people; strengthening the knowledgeable with rainmaking and healing powers; blighting others with sores, weakness, illness, and death.
link many sacred sites together in a web of Dreamtime tracks criss-crossing the country. This is an identity of spirit, a consubstantiality, rather than a matter of mere belief...: the Dreaming pre-exists and persists, while its human incarnations are temporary." Aboriginal specialists willing to generalise believe all Aboriginal myths across Australia, in combination, represent a kind of unwritten (oral) library within which Aboriginal peoples learn about the world and perceive a peculiarly Aboriginal 'reality' dictated by concepts and values vastly different from those of western societies:"Aboriginal people learned from their stories that a society must not be human-centred but rather land centred, otherwise they forget their source and purpose ...
Dreaming tracks can run for hundreds, even thousands of kilometres, from desert to the coast [and] may be shared by peoples in countries through which the tracks pass..." Australian anthropologists willing to generalise suggest Aboriginal myths still being performed across Australia by Aboriginal peoples serve an important social function amongst their intended audiences: justifying the received ordering of their daily lives; In addition, such performance often continuously incorporates and "mythologises" historical events in the service of these social purposes in an otherwise rapidly changing modern world. humans are prone to exploitative behaviour if not constantly reminded they are interconnected with the rest of creation, that they as individuals are only temporal in time, and past and future generations must be included in their perception of their purpose in life.""People come and go but the Land, and stories about the Land, stay.Mountains, rivers, waterholes, animal and plant species, and other natural and cultural resources came into being as a result of events which took place during these Dreamtime journeys. that the Law (Aboriginal law) is something derived from ancestral peoples or Dreamings and is passed down the generations in a continuous line. entitlements of particular human beings may come and go, the underlying relationships between foundational Dreamings and certain landscapes are theoretically eternal ...Their existence in present-day landscapes is seen by many indigenous peoples as confirmation of their creation beliefs...""The routes taken by the Creator Beings in their Dreamtime journeys across land and sea... the entitlements of people to places are usually regarded strongest when those people enjoy a relationship of identity with one or more Dreamings of that place.sites hold 'feelings' which cannot be described in physical terms...subtle feelings that resonate through the bodies of these people...This Captain Cook is a harbinger of dramatic transformations in the social order, bringing change and a different social order, into which present-day audiences have been born.(see above regarding this social function played by Aboriginal myths) In 1988 Australian anthropologist Kenneth Maddock assembled several versions of this 'Captain Cook' myth as recorded from a number of Aboriginal groups around Australia."set up the people [cattle industry] to go down the countryside and shoot people down, just like animal, they left them lying there for the hawks and crows...From this time the Guugu Yimidhirr did receive present-day names for places occurring in their local landscape; and the Guugu Yimmidhir may recollect this encounter.The pan-Australian Captain Cook myth, however, tells of a generic, largely symbolic British character who arrives from across the oceans sometime after the Aboriginal world was formed and the original social order founded.Predecessors of the myth tellers encounter a mythical, exotic (most often English) character who arrives from the sea, bringing western colonialism, either offering gifts to the performer's predecessors or bringing great harm upon the performer's predecessors.This key mythical character is most often named 'Captain Cook', this being a 'mythical' character shared with the broader Australian community, who also attribute James Cook with playing a key role in colonising Australia.