On Australian Aboriginal Peoples

Last week I wrote about Alcheringa or Altjere, the concept of Aboriginal religion, known as ‘Dreamtime’ or ‘Dreaming’. Without any great deal of elaboration I would like to point to a few recent sources of insight into Aboriginal Australia

The first is the new documentary on Australian SBS, “First Australians”. Although I have only caught a couple of the episodes of this 7 part series, SBS offers all the episodes on their website, so I am able to look at the ones I missed. This is a beautifully scripted documentary that pulls together a vast bank of knowledge about the history of Aboriginal people, their culture, and especially the impact on their culture and life with the colonisation of Australia by England.

The second is an article about Aboriginal ceremonial dance, “Rhythm Sticks”, in the Weekend Australian, 25-26 October 2008, Review page 4 .  This is a wonderfully researched and insightful article about the decline but value of the Aboriginal ceremonial dance.

The third is an interview on ABC radio national with Dr Romaine Moreton on the Aboriginal self through the Western eye. Romaine talks about the idea of Indigenous film making as “recovering ourselves, our sunlight, keeping the indigenous world view alive to maintain the relationship with country and, by that, maintaining country.”

The insightful article or documentary that shows to the Australian community and the world, the meaning of country and ceremony, within the deeper spiritual meaning of Altjere, is yet to be produced. Now that the Australian Government has offered the apology of the new comers, for our terrible misjudgements against Aboriginal people, perhaps we can allow our own hearts and minds to become open to the Altjere.

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