Aboriginal mythology and religion are the sacred texts recited by Aboriginal Australians across the various native tribes across the Australian mainland. Aboriginal spirituality includes the Dreamtime (the Dreaming), songlines, and Aboriginal oral literature. Aboriginal spiritualities are often linked to the country’s topography, as well as to the oral history of the people who lived there. Most of these spiritualities belong to specific groups, but some span the whole continent in one form or another.
These sacred texts reveal significant truths within each indigenous group’s local landscape. They are then used by selected audiences to provide deeper meaning and cultural nuance. There are 900 distinct aboriginal groups in Australia, each with its own unique language and dialects. These groups’ original myths are often derived from the use of certain words and names.
Scholars cannot attempt to describe all of the myths and legends that are shared by Aboriginal groups. Due to the wide variety of Aboriginal groups and languages, their various interpretations and traditions are often varied. Aboriginal experts believe that the various myths and legends that are shared by indigenous Australians are part of an oral library that enables them to learn about the world.
The Dreaming, also known as the world dawn, is a period of time that existed before the end of the Earth’s natural cycle. During this time, the environment was shaped by the actions of various mythic beings. Some of these beings were credited with creating the social order and its laws.
Some of the beings were killed or disappeared, while others were transformed into physical features that were used as rituals. In Aboriginal belief, these beings are still alive and are actively involved in the rituals that they once performed. The concept of the Dreaming is that man is a part of nature, and that he is regarded as an agent of the beings. The belief holds that he has an indestructible identity that will continue unbroken from the beginning of time.