Aboriginal Spirituality

SOR1: Dispossession

Separation from the Land For Aboriginal people, loss of Land is the same as loss of spiritual identity Results in inability to fulfill ritual responsibilities, and a loss of purpose Land is inextricably connected to kinship, ceremonial life, family connections and relationships Loss of land resulted in the destruction of totemic responsibilities Order of events 1788: settlement and establishment of Terra Nullius, marked the start of the removal of tribes from the Land 1820s-1850s: government and churches established missions and reserves Imposed Chrisitianity and European culture/lifestyle Objected to most aspects of Aboriginal spirituality Separation from Kinship Groups Destroyed kinship and the identity of Aboriginal communities Wiped out thousands of years of stories and culture, which is irretrievable without those kinship ties Order of events 1838: Policy of Protection forcibly placed Aboriginal people on missions and reserves, which resulted in the mass dispossession of Aboriginal people Deliberate attempt to destroy Aboriginal spirituality Resulted in the destruction of kinship, traditional gender roles, culture, language, etc.

SOR1: Aboriginal Spirituality As Determined By The Dreaming

The Dreaming is a fundamental concept that underpins all aspects of Aboriginal spirituality The Dreaming refers to Aboriginal spiritual beliefs about creation and existence According to Aboriginal spirituality, all life is part of a larger network that can be traced back to the ANCESTOR BEINGS of the Dreaming The Dreaming involves all knowledge and understanding in Aboriginal societies The Dreaming incorporates an explanation for the origins of the Universe The Dreaming is INEXTRICABLY CONNECTED TO THE LAND as the Land is the physical medium through which the Dreaming is expressed, and since the Ancestor Spirits are said to continue to reside within the Land The Dreaming is METATEMPORAL, meaning it incorporates the past, present and future as a complete and present reality The Dreaming is embedded in all aspects of Aboriginal life, because every part of Aboriginal life is derived from the Dreaming Kinship Kinship identify a system of belonging and responsibilities within a clan Kinship is not only based on family, but also one’s totem, usually a plant or an animal, which represent a person’s or group’s connection with the Ancestor Spirits Kinship ties govern all interactions with other people (such as who you can marry, who you can talk to, etc.
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