Indigenous Australian Philosophy Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 5 January 2017

Indigenous Australian Philosophy

While a variety of factors have shaped the diversity of Indigenous Australian philosophy and prac? ces across the Australian con? nent, one of the central characteris? cs of the Aboriginal worldview is the concept of the ‘Dreaming’. Outlinesomeofthekeyaspectsofthisbeliefsystemandre#ectonthisin comparison to your own worldview. THE DREAMING LAID DOWN THE PATH FOR THE ABORIGINAL WAY OF LIFE, AND IT DICTATES THEIR KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, LAW, BEHAVIOUR AND SOCIETAL CUSTOMS. IN AUSTRALIA, THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT ABORIGINAL CLANS, EACH ABORIGINAL CLAN HAS THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION AND NAME FOR THE DREAMING.

EVEN TODAY ABORIGINAL PEOPLE ARE CONNECTED TO THE DREAMING THROUGH THEIR BELIEFS AND RITUALS. WHILST ABORIGINAL SOCIETIES MAY SEEM COMPLICATED TO AN OUTSIDER THIS BEAUTIFUL CULTURE FOSTERS A SENSE OF BELONGING, RESPECT, HARMONY AND CONSERVATION. THREE ASPECTS OF THE DREAMING ARE THE ANCESTRAL BEINGS, KINSHIP TO RUWI AND RESPECT OF THE LAWS. THE DREAMING CONSISTED OF ANCESTRAL BEINGS WHO ROSE FROM THE EARTH AND WATER, THEN TRAVELLED THE LAND SCULPTING THE EARTH. THE ANCESTRAL BEINGS TOOK ON THE FORMS OF HUMANS, ANIMALS, PLANTS AND EVEN COMBINATIONS OF THESE FORMS.

THE ANCESTRAL BEINGS CREATED THE PEOPLE, PLANTS, ANIMALS AND KINSHIPS BETWEEN THESE KEY. MANY OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF THE LAND CAN BE LINKED TO THE ANCESTRAL BEINGS, AND TO THE EVENTS PLAYED OUT DURING THE DREAMING PERIOD. THE ANCESTRAL BEINGS CREATED THE LAWS AND A PATH TO BE FOLLOWED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. THESE LAWS MUST BE FOLLOWED IN ORDER TO ENSURE A BALANCE AND A CONTINUATION OF LIFE AND HARMONY. FURTHERMORE, ABORIGINAL PEOPLE ARE DEVOTED TO THEIR LAND. WATSON EXPLAINS THAT ABORIGINAL PEOPLE DO NOT SEE THE LAND AS A COMMODITY THAT CAN BE OWNED OR SOLD, P a g e | 2.

THEY ARE A PART OF THEIR LAND, AND THEIR LAND HAS ITS OWN SPIRIT. ABORIGINAL PEOPLE LIVE A STABLE AND SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE AND ONLY TAKE FOOD THAT IS NEEDED. WHEN FOOD IS TAKEN FROM THE LAND, THEY MUST GIVE THANKS TO THE LAND AS A SIGN OF RESPECT. ABORIGINAL CLANS WERE SEPARATED BY THE DREAMING AND HAVE DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS AND LANGUAGES, SO THEY DO NOT HAVE TO FIGHT FOR LAND OR FOOD. ABORIGINAL RUWI IS MARKED BY GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES, WHICH CAN INCLUDE RIVERS, TREES, ROCKS AND PAINTINGS; THE PERIMETERS OF THE LAND ARE LEARNT THROUGH SONGS. THE DREAMING LAWS MADE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND.

THE LAWS DO NOT NEED TO BE WRITTEN DOWN AS THEY ARE LEARNED THROUGH THE LIVING OF THE LAWS. ABORIGINAL PEOPLE ARE GUIDED BY THEIR WAY OF LIFE THROUGH ELDERS, AND KNOWLEDGE PASSED DOWN FROM THE DREAMING. STORIES OF THE DREAMING ARE TAUGHT THROUGH ORAL STORIES, SONG, DANCE, RITUALS AND ART. THESE STORIES PASS ON THE IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE, VALUES AND EXPECTED BEHAVIOURS. ABORIGINAL CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT THE DREAMING STORIES WHICH ARE APPROPRIATE TOR THEIR AGE. THESE STORIES SOCIALISE CHILDREN ON THE ABORIGINAL WAY OF LIFE.

EDWARDS’S STATES THAT RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALSO DICTATED FROM THE DREAMING, THERE IS A COMPLEX KINSHIP ORDER AMONG ABORIGINAL PEOPLE. THIS ORDER DETERMINES A PERSON’S PLACE IN THEIR MOIETY. THIS KINSHIP SYSTEM ALSO DICTATES HOW FAMILY MEMBERS SHOULD BEHAVE TOWARDS OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, WHICH HELP TO KEEP HARMONY AND AVOID CONFLICT. THE DIFFERENT PLACES WITHIN THE MOIETY ALSO DETERMINE A SUITABLE MARRIAGE PARTNER. FROM A WESTERN CIVILIZATION PERSPECTIVE, I ONLY KNOW MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND THE ABORIGINAL SYSTEM OF KINSHIP LEAVES ME FEELING THAT I MAY BE LACKING A GREATER SENSE OF SELF AND PURPOSE. YES, I CAN TRACE MY FAMILY’S GENEALOGY BACK HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

THESE ARE NAMES ON PAPER WITH NO CONNECTION TO ME, AND I FEEL NO BOND TO THESE P a g e | 3 PEOPLE. THE ABORIGINAL SYSTEM OF KINSHIP FOSTERS A BOND TO EVERYTHING ON THIS LAND, WHICH CREATES A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND BELONGING. ANOTHER IMPORTANT POINT THAT WATSON IDENTIFIES IS THAT THE DREAMING LAW IS ABOUT LOVE, SHARING, RESPECT AND CARING AND THIS IS WHY THE LAND IS CONSERVED AND CARED FOR. I SENSE THAT WESTERN CULTURE NOW SEEMS TO BE BASED ON A SUPERFICIAL AND SELFISH EXISTENCE. I OBSERVE THAT WESTERN CULTURE IS FUELLED BY GREED, A DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE DEPLETING OF RESOURCES.

I WONDER WHERE WE WOULD BE TODAY IF THE COLONISERS HAD LIVED IN HARMONY AND LEARNT FROM THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE ON HOW TO RESPECT AND CONSERVE RATHER THAN STEAL AND DEPLETE THE LAND. I FEEL WE MAY HAVE BECOME A BETTER SOCIETY FULL OF APPRECIATION AND WARMTH. THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HAVE A CULTURE THAT BINDS THEM TO THE LAND AND TO EACH OTHER. IT CREATES A SENSE OF PRIDE; RESPECT AND ORDER FOR THE WAY THINGS HAVE BEEN, ARE AT THE MOMENT AND WILL BE IN THE FUTURE. EVEN THOUGH THE DREAMING IS INTERPRETED UNIQUELY BY DIFFERENT ABORIGINAL GROUPS, IT HAS CONSERVED THEIR SOCIETIES AND GIVEN THEM BONDS THAT HAVE LASTED THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Free Indigenous Australian Philosophy Essay Sample

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 5 January 2017

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