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Aboriginal Spirituality

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Introduction

Date and Time: 06-11-10; 4:30pm Activity: Home research on Aboriginal kinship, ceremonial life, obligations to the land and people; Dispossession. Research: Information extracted from 6 different sources, used 10 sources overall. Source Outlined In Numbers: ( - ) Aboriginal Spiritualities The Dreaming dominates all spiritual and physical aspects of Aboriginal life and determines all relationships and responsibilities for Aboriginal people such as ceremonies performed in order to maintain the life of the land. The Dreaming is the foundation of Aboriginal spirituality, providing a basis upon which kinship systems, traditions, rituals and ceremonies are built. The Dreaming explains why the land is important to the Aboriginal spirituality, as it is through the land that the Dreaming is activated. A person's identity is inextricably linked to the land as understanding of the land enables them to understand their responsibilities. "The Dreaming means our identity as people. The cultural teaching and everything, that's part of our lives here, you know?... it's the understanding of what we have around us." (10) Kinship Kinship systems are obtained from the Dreaming and is a complex system of belonging, responsibilities and relationships towards all others in a clan based on familial and totem relations. (7) ...read more.

Middle

Sprinkling of water and smoking the coffin. Family bringing flowers to pay their respects. Usually a wake or memory celebration after the funeral for relatives and friends. Continuation of the ceremony in some tribes is to restrict the naming of the deceased person. (3) Death is not the end of life for Aboriginal people but the last ceremony in the present life. They believe the spirits of the dead return to the Dreaming places they had come from, part of the eternal transition of the life-force of Dreaming. (4) 'Balance' is important for the hunting ad gathering Aboriginals. In an environment where there as uncertainty about the continuity of essential supplies, the most common of their rituals related to ensuring the continuation of a particular species and so, of their food supplies. As the spirit of a particular species is thought to inhabit certain sites, it is necessary for the groups who have responsibility for these sites to perform proper rites to ensure that the spirits emerge to give birth and life to species. (4) Obligations to land and a people: Aboriginals believe that people were created and related to the natural world which has existed since the beginning of time and that it is therefore the sacred motherland, 'My Country'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The removal of these children from their traditional lands means that they could no longer learn or fulfil their ritual responsibilities. Separation from family removes the sense of belonging to oneself, removal from oneself removes the concept of what it means to be human. Without family, it is as if Aboriginal people have no map, no way of knowing where they are and who they are or where they should be going and how. (3) (3) REMOVAL FROM KINSHIP LOSS OF HUMAN IDENTITY REMOVAL FROM FAMILY LOSS OF SELF IDENTITY LOSS OF DIRECTION IN LIFE LOSS OF SPIRIT IN LIFE REMOVAL FROM LAND LOSS OF SPIRITUAL IDENTITY LOSS OF PURPOSE IN LIFE Dispossession Causes Increased infant mortality Overrepresentation in prison Educational disadvantages Higher rates of unemployment Higher use of drugs and alcohol Higher use of government services Reduced life expectancy EVALUATION In learning about this topic and reading the sources 1,3 and 9, I grew an understanding of the Aboriginal system of their Dreaming such as Kinship and Ceremonial Life. I discovered that this was deeply connected to the land and how significant it is to them to be connected to their land and Dreaming and to fulfil their purpose in life. I learnt that the dispossession of their land and family/kinship caused a negative effect on all Aboriginal generations and that they lost their sense of purpose in life. ...read more.

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