Aboriginal spirituality involves the land.


From creativespirits.info:

Aboriginal spiritual beliefs are invariably about the land Aboriginal people live on. It is ‘geosophical’ (earth-centred) and not ‘theosophical’ (God-centred).

The earth, their country, is “impregnated with the power of the Ancestor Spirits” which Aboriginal people draw upon [2].

They experience a connection to their land that is unknown to white people. A key feature of Aboriginal spirituality is to look after the land, an obligation which has been passed down as law for thousands of years.

“Spirituality is about tapping into the still places I go to when I’m on country and I feel like I’m part of all the things around me,” explains Senimelia Kingsburra, from the far north Queensland Yarrabah community [2].

A powerful explanation of the spiritual connection of Indigenous people to the land can be found in a publication of the now abolished ATSIC [3].

We don’t own the land, the land owns us. The land is my mother, my mother is the land. Land is the starting point to where it all began. It’s like picking up a piece of dirt and saying this is where I started and this is where I’ll go. The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and identity.—S. Knight [3]

Aboriginal author and Yorta Yorta woman Hyllus Maris (1934-86) expressed this connectedness with the land beautifully in her poem Spiritual Song of the Aborigine [4].

Spiritual Song of the Aborigine

I am a child of the Dreamtime People
Part of this Land, like the gnarled gumtree
I am the river, softly singing
Chanting our songs on my way to the sea
My spirit is the dust-devils
Mirages, that dance on the plain
I’m the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I’m part of the rocks and the red desert earth
Red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am eagle, crow and snake that glides
Thorough the rain-forest that clings to the mountainside
I awakened here when the earth was new
There was emu, wombat, kangaroo
No other man of a different hue
I am this land
And this land is me
I am Australia.

Poem by Hyllus Maris.

 

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