Indigenous spirituality can be defined as the incorporation of a community’s spiritual trail, alongside which it progresses to attain a given purpose, like a higher state of responsiveness, outreach understanding or empathy with the Creator. For example the Aboriginal spirituality is a feeling of unity, of belonging and mostly connected to land.
To them land is their culture, food, spirit and identity. Spirituality is demonstrated by use of rituals, ceremonies and or paintings. It is dynamic and has assimilated rudiments of other beliefs (Beaman 2002).
Source: http://wwwcreativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/spirituality/ On the above picture the Aboriginal people are seen on a ritual to fill ochre in an old tree pit carving. This carving is a representation of a departed person’s court of arm. Its feeling symbolizes healing. Dreaming according to the Aborigines is used to illustrate the associations and stability between natural, moral and spiritual basics of the world. It goes beyond the literal meaning on that it depicts the period of time between the beginning of the universe and living reminiscence or originator ancestors.
Dreamtime is a term used to describe the period during which the earth, the heavens above together with all their contents were created by the actions of paranormal and inexplicable beings. It is the surroundings in which the Aboriginals stayed in and still exists “all around us” as they say. This was an important aspect as the Aborigines were educated on the origins of the ethnic group through the dreamtime establishment myths which were the foundation of Aboriginal society dependable for proving conviction of existence.
They played a big part towards their survival as evident in so many years. However, it is worth noting that ‘dreaming’ is mostly used in reference to believe or spirituality of a group or individual. Dreaming according to the Aboriginals offers a pleasant structure for individual understanding in the universe (Elkin 1993). One of the most horrifying aspects in the history of Australia is the forced snatching of Aboriginal children from their families. Young children were stolen from their parents and taken to children homes, foreign families and missions.
The children brought up in the missions or through foster guardians were denied their Aboriginal traditions. They were tortured if caught speaking their native language and the young ones were not taught anything to do with Aboriginality. Boys were trained to become stockmen and girls to be household servants. In the missions the children were often subjected to physical and sexual abuse. It was only after reaching the age of majority that they were freed to the white society, habitually victimized by their occurrences.
As a result of stealing the children of the Aboriginals the white people stole their future. Traditions, Language, dances, knowledge and spirituality were halted and the whites hoped that the Aboriginal culture would be demolished in a very short time. The effects on the stolen generation were loneliness, identity loss, mistrust to all, internal guilt, obscurity to find own religious believes, depression and Trans-generational traumas among others (Elkin 1993).
In Australia the Aboriginal art dates back to more than a millennium, rock art and bark painting being the most common. These are usually painted with worldly colors especially from ochre. The Aboriginals poses painted narrations from Dreamtime. Today their artists carry on with their traditions using modern arts and materials. It is the most distinguished in the world and it makes me feel attracted to it. Source: http://www. creativespirits. info/aboriginalculture/spirituality/
The above picture shows an example of an Aboriginal spiritual picture of the crucifixion. This was used in Sydney on The Catholic World Youth Day in the year 2008. This clearly shoes how the ancient Aboriginal art is being used relevantly in modern days. References Beaman, J, 2002, Aboriginal Spirituality and the Legal Construction of Freedom of Religion, Available At: < http://jcs. oxfordjournals. org/cgi/reprint/44/1/135. pdf Elkin, A. P, 1993, Aboriginal Men of High Degree. Inner Traditions, Carson.
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