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Origins of Culture - Essay Example

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Origins of Culture The sense in which the Australian Aboriginal Rainbow Snake exists Like many other societies, the Australian aboriginals have their own myths that are composed of oral literature they traditionally performed. These myths explain fundamental truths about the local landscape of each group of aboriginals…
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Download file to see previous pages Iles (2010) states that the Australian aboriginals believe that the universe has two aspects. These are, the physical world we see and live in, and another world connected to this from which the Dreamtime is derived. The Rainbow Serpent is one common thing in the mythology and art of the aboriginal Australia. This Serpent is a significant dragon in the creation of the mythology of the aboriginals. The term Rainbow Serpent is used when referring to water that is meandering in a snake-like manner across the landscape and the spectrum of color that is produced when water is stricken by sunlight at an appropriate angle relative to the position of the observer (Isaacs 1980). The Rainbow Serpent is seen to be the inhabitant of the permanent waterholes, underground springs, deep billabongs, the rain and other water courses, and that the serpent is in control of the most precious resources of life like oil and water. He is the unpredictable Rainbow Serpent that sometimes vies with the ever-dependable sun whose function is to replenish the stores of water and as he slithers across the landscape, he forms deep channels and gullies that facilitate the collection and distribution of water. The symbol of the Rainbow Serpent is rainbow bridging the earth and the heaven. This gives one of the most significant forms of existence of the rainbow snakes. The Australian Aboriginal Rainbow Snake also exists in the form of landscapes or physical features. The serpent is believed to have descended from heaven and thus the gullies and rivers were formed as he moved over the face of the earth, giving it form and nourishing it. According to Smyth (1994), the aboriginals describe the journeys of ancestral creations, often giant people or animals as the source of the formation of rivers, waterholes, mountains, plant and animal species and other cultural and natural resources. They came into existence because of the dream journeys of these creatures and their existence in today’s landscape is taken by many indigenous Australian populations as a confirmation of their beliefs about creation. As noted, the rainbow serpent is one of the creatures believe to participated in the dream journeys and hence participated in the creation of features in the earth’s surface. These features are a confirmation of the routes taken by creatures like the Rainbow Serpent and therefore, a confirmation of its existence in the past. The dreaming tracks run for as many as thousand kilometers across the country. One of the physical feature that indicates the existence of the rainbow snake is a mountain range located in the north-east region of Australia. The landscape in this region is a wet tropical forested. The myth linking this mountain range to the existence of the rainbow snake originates from the Djabugay group of aboriginals. Isaacs (1980) explains that according to this myth, the rainbow snake transformed into a mountain range that up to date, can be seen to be lying on his back, looking upwards to the skies over the current day Baron River Gorge. The Rainbow Serpent also exists in the form of other natural events like tides. Existence in the form of tides can be further explained by a story involving two sisters and the snake. In this story, two Wawilak sisters were walking around the sea and before going back, they had incestuous relations with men of their moiety. After this, the younger sister had a baby and afterbirth blood begun flowing and entered a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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