Copyright

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories About the Land

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine some of the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories that explain land formations. Dreamtime stories explain how the ancestral spirits, people, and land come together to explain the laws of life.

Dreamtime Stories

Think about what has gone into the formation of the mountains, streams, oceans, and other elements that make up the landscape around you. The Aboriginal people, or indigenous people of Australia, use Dreamtime stories that have been passed down through generations to explain these wonders of nature. Let's summarize some of these stories that deal with land formations.

Gulaga

Gulaga is the sacred mountain for the people of Yuin-Monaro. Gulaga has two sons named Najanuga and Barranguba. The eldest, Barranguba, is referred to as Montague Island. As Barranguba gets older, he decides to move away. He goes out to the sea where he supervises the fish and the whales.

Najanuga wants to prove that he is growing up, too. He asks if he can join his big brother, but his mother refuses. She is afraid that he will be swallowed by Gadu, the sea. Instead, she puts him down next to her so that he can watch his brother while staying under the close supervision of his mother. The Yuin-Monaro people call Najunuga 'mummy's little boy.'

Water in the Plains

The Butchulla people of Fraser Island tell the story that explains how water became available in the plains. Long ago, there was a terrible drought on the plains. All except one well had run dry and all the rain ran on the other side of the mountain to the sea. Two men, Weeri and Walawidbit decide to steal all the water in the remaining well for themselves. They made an eel-a-mun, which is a large water carrier, and ran off.

The next morning, the Elders realize the two men are missing, along with all the water needed to care for the children and elderly people in the village. They send the warriors to track down the thieves. Weeri and Walawidbit escape the spears, but the eel-a-mun sustains a hole and begins to drip water across the plains.

When the warriors catch up to the men, Weeri and Walawidbit are called to a meeting with the Elders. As punishment for stealing and selfishness, Weeri was changed into the first emu and Walawidbit was changed into the first blue-tongued lizard.

In all of the places where the eel-a-mun dripped water, pools and waterholes formed. From that point forward, there was not only enough water for the people, but birds and plants also inhabited the area.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support