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The dreaming is extremely important for the land rights movement, as it is the source of all aboriginal culture, heritage, religion and spirituality. It involves the past, present and future. Mudrooroo, an Aboriginal writer, stated that “The Dreaming\' or \'the Dreamtime\' indicates a psychic state in which or during which contact is made with the ancestral spirits, or the Law, or that special period of the beginning.” This suggests that dreaming is the establishment of the Aboriginal culture, a place for ancestral beings and explains the creation of life.
Dreaming illustrates the origin of the universe and all living things. It has allowed aboriginal spirituality to be determined and expressed through kinship, ceremonial life and obligations to the land. This is highly important for the ongoing land rights movement which aims to secure the rights of Aboriginal people to their land and ensure their religious, spiritual and cultural integrity is preserved.
Dreaming is passed on to other generations through kinship.
Kinship is a way of social organisation of a system of relationships, rights and obligations within Aboriginal societies. One type of relationship Aboriginals encounter through kinship is, to the land and the spirit beings which determine lore and meaning. Through this, each individual has a role in the community. Hence, the connections developed through kinship gives Aboriginals a sense of community and support. Values such as sharing and respect is also provided through kinship. For example, when hunting the food is distributed among the group and the elders provide wisdom and leadership to teach the children.
This teaches the children to respect their elders. The elders pass on the dreamtime stories and rituals to the next generation. Thus, making dreaming a living religion. Through dreaming, kinship demonstrates an importance of nurturing the land, animals and allows adherents to practise their culture, so their integrity is preserved. Therefore, implying the importance of dreaming for the land rights movement.
Ceremonial life also, explains the importance of dreaming for the land rights movement. Ceremonies ensure that important components of the lores and the Dreaming stay intact. Aboriginal ceremonies combine dance, rituals, songs and involve costumes as shown in source A. The source shows a dance ceremony after the Mabo decision. Ceremonies heighten the presence of dreaming because it links the present world to the dreamtime, passes on sacred knowledge and is a way of expressing their religion. Other ceremonies involve funeral ceremonies. In the funeral ceremonies possessions of the dead are destroyed, their shelters are burnt and the whole camp moves away to ensure the spirit of the deceased is carried back to the ancestral beings land and their responsibilities are passed on. The dead must be buried in their own country so their spirit is properly sung to rest. Finally, their remains are cremated at the annual grass burning. This ceremony exhibits the importance of the land for their spirituality, so their tradition is preserved. Hence, showing the importance of dreaming for the land rights movement.
Altogether, Aboriginal people have occupied the land for more than 60 000 years and have grown with the land ever since. The land gives them everything they ever need and hence they need to care for the land. Djapirri Muninggirrity, from Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, proclaims, “If they come and destroy our land and our sacred site, that takes away our life too.” He simply says, “Without the land, we are nothing.” This presents the spiritual obligation to the land and the people dreaming has. Therefore, the land is a medium through which the dreaming is communicated. Without this land, the connection with dreaming is broken. Hence, demonstrating the importance of dreaming so their religious, spiritual and cultural integrity is preserved.
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