Wisdom from the Earth: The Living Legacy of the Aboriginal Dreamtime
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are the oldest continuous living traditions on Earth. This book celebrates the deeply felt relationships between these Aboriginal peoples, the land, and their sacred heritage of the Dreamtime. All aspects of Aboriginal life derive their ultimate context from the Dreamtime—the primordial creation epoch that Aborigines have reenacted in ceremony since time immemorial—and from the essence they share with their Spirit Ancestors. This sacred source, known as the Law, underlies every activity of these people, fills all aspects of daily life with sacred purpose, and creates an enduring sense of connection for them to the land and to each other. Myth, kinship, song, dance and ceremony are all interwoven within a spiritual tradition that extends back into the timeless past and forward into an eternal future. Women and men occupy distinctly separate yet complementary spheres, each with its own unique traditions. And rituals celebrate every transition in life—from conception and birth, through entry into adulthood, to the ceremonies that make up "women's business" and "men's business," to the various stages of maturation, old age, and death. Wisdom from the Earth illuminates many facets of Aboriginal cultures and explores a number of the major Dreamtime songlines, ceremonies, and other spiritual practices, through eighty-two stunning color photographs accompanied by text—including some unforgettable dialogues with Aboriginal elders.
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