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Flashcards in Aboriginal Spritualities Deck (26)
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why is the land so important to aboriginal spirituality?

- the land provides the people with their identity through the ancestral beings and totems. ancestral beings continue to dwell in the land in the form of plants, animals humans or part humans. the land is the resting place for these spirits

-the land is a place rich with ritual activity and ritualistic spaces. these are called balance rites

-the land, or more technically speaking the ancestral beings provided the sacred law of the dreaming

-the land is the meeting point for all tribes. it is where they obtain their totems from, its where they obtain their identity, dictates relationships with adherents


what is kindship?

kinship ties represent a complex relationship system of belonging and responsibilities within a clan

these not only include familial relations but also relations through ones specific totem. these relations offer adherents rules and regulations which govern their day to day life including who they talk to and marry.

kindship also assigns responsibility to transmit the knowledge of the dreaming from elders to the younger generation


what a some examples of sacred rituals?

-death and burial rituals
-rites of passage
-corroboree/ceremonial dance
-smoking ceremony


what is the smoking ceremony used for?

it is used publicly and traditionally as a means of cleansingly and healing the soul.

traditionally it is often used during pregancies


how is art important to the dreaming?

-art is another way of communicating the dreaming
-it is a form of story telling of the actions of the ancestor beings with many levels of meaning that can only be unlocked with time and age
-it is a form of spriritual story telling


what is a totem and how is it important to the dreaming?

-a totem is a form that represents a person as they would have existed in the dreaming, either in the form of an animal, plant or other natural phenomena

-with a totem comes identity and many other responsibilities. ones totem guides a person life, choosing who the individual may marry or talk to etc.

-a totem also plays a big part in many ritualistic activities which retell ways the ancestor beings provided the tradition, law and how they shaped the land


who were the stolen generations?

the stolen generations were generations of indigenous individuals who were forcibily removed from their families during the period from 1870-1979. these individuals were seen as special, having both white and black heritage and being believed to be best adaptable to white culture and society?


where were these stolen generations kept and by what idea was this movement based?

stolen generations once removed were placed in western foster homes, families, christian missions and reserves.

the movement was based upon the idea of protection and assimilation. it was seen as a means to "smooth the pillow of a dying race". aboriginals were seen as a weak minority and were decided to be protected by placing them in these facilities

assimilation was the idea that saw millions of indigenous individuals removed from their families. assimilation refers to fusing one minority ethnic group into a larger majority ethnic group. at the time it seemed like the right thing to do but it only was detrimental to the culture as a whole


what affect did dispossesion have on the seperation from kinship groups?

- the loss of kinship groups led to a loss of language, affecting the passing on of law and beliefs in a very tradtional way

-the seperation from families had less from a loss of complex kinship systems, leading to a loss of identity


what affect did dispossesion have on the seperation from the land?

- a seperation from the land leads to a seperation from the dreaming, as the land is inextricably linked with the dreaming

- a loss of the land leads to the loss of idenitity and the burden of not being able to fufill ritualist reponsibilities

- a loss of the land deprived them of their home, their indipendence, their culture and spiritual world

- aboriginial idenitity and self-esteem was no difficult to maintain. Customary law and authority had a close relationship with the land were also undermined. Their mother was lost


what does native title mean?

definition: A native title is the name given by the high court of Australia to indigenous property rights recognised by the court as handed down in the mabo decision in june 3rd 1992. It also acts as a referral to communal or individual rights or interests of aboriginal people or terres strait islanders in relation to land or waters. It’s a statement from the federal law which acknowledges aboriginal peoples as the tradition custodians of Australian lands.


when and what were the beginnings of the Aboriginal lands rights movement?

it all began with the Wave Hill workers in Northern Territory at a cattle station going on strike in support of better working conditions. this occured in 1966. this strike was led by a man named Vincent Lingiari.

Eventually after a protracted dispute the Whitlam Federal government passed the first land rights legislation in 1975. This moment is symbolised in the photo showing Mr Whitlam pouring dirt into Vincent’s hand, one of the most famous photos in Australian history.


when did the native title actually get acknowledged in federal law?

1st of january, 1993


who was Eddie Mabo?

Eddie Mabo was a man from the Murray islands in the Torres Strait- part of the Meriam people


what was the mabo decision?

The mabo decision overthrew the legal fiction of terra nullius, that is, that Australian lands belonged to no one when the first European settlers arrived in 1788. this was protested against in Queensland.


what did the Highcourt rule over involving the Mabo decision?

The high court ruling found that a native title to land existed in 1788, and may continue to exist as long as proceeding acts of government do not abolish the title and that Aboriginal peoples continue to practise in their laws and customs and oblige to the land they so desperately desire.


what affect did the native title have on the freehold title?

• The case also made clear that native title is extinguished over freehold title, meaning many Australian homes built on freehold land were not at risk from land claims


what was the sad thing about native title?

Unfortunately for the indigenous people, this native title only holds on a very small percentage of Australian land


when was the Wik Decision handed down?



what did the Wik decision entail?

The wik decision, handed down in 1996 by the high court determined that native title could co-exist with other rights on land held under a pastoral lease. The court ruled that as the condition of pastoral leases vary. Each must be judged by its own merits.


who fighted on behalf of the Wik decision and where did this whole thing take place?

the Wik people (later joined by the Thayorre people) claimed native title over some traditional lands on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.


What was the native title amednment act?

the native title act was introduced as a ten-point plan to put the Wik ruling into practice
The amended Act empowers the states and territories to legislate their own native title regimes.


when was the amendment act passes?

in october 1998


in what four ways is ceremonial life important for the dreaming?

-Rites of Passage
-Passing on social information
-Personal connections
-Spiritual Connections


what are the two main things that ceremonial life provides to the dreaming?

-acknowledges a creation event and recreates that event in the present

-shows the metaphysical presence of the dreaming world in the real world


what is the dreaming?

the spiritual aspect of aboriginal religion that encapsulates both the physical and spiritual dimensions, giving meaning to all aspects of life