Australia: Dreamtime

Australia: Dreamtime (24:00)
Item# 39783

No one knows when Australia was first inhabited, but most experts agree on tens of thousands of years ago. This program provides a wealth of information on Australia’s Aboriginal culture. Topics include an overview of the history of the Aboriginal peoples; facts and theories about Aboriginal origins; an introduction to the Anangu and Tiwi, two Aboriginal groups; the Aboriginal mythology of the Dreamtime, the primordial phase in which life arose; Aboriginal reverence for geological formations, including Uluru, or “Great Pebble,” and Kata Tjuta, or “Many Heads”; Tiwi spiritual beliefs expressed in art, music, and dance; the carving of decorative Pukumani, or Tiwi burial poles; and the secretive nature of Anangu death rituals. A Discovery Channel Production. (24 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (6)

1. Australia's Indigenous Peoples (03:28)
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Nearly 1/4 of the original indigenous population of Australia remains, scattered over 4.5 million square miles. The Tiwi tribe, long isolated from human contact, they believed their islands were the whole world.

2. Aborigines: Dreamtime (03:46)

Diverse tribes of indigenous peoples are bound by the legends of Dreamtime. They believe they are the direct descendants of spirit ancestors. Dreamtime is the realm in which spirits still exist.

3. Ayers Rock/Uluru: Sacred Place (02:57)

The most sacred place of Australia's indigenous peoples is Ayers Rock or Uluru, of "Great Pebble." The Anangu trace their beginnings to the spirits of Uluru.

4. Sacred Sites and Sacred Art (04:48)

Kata Tjuta, or "Many Heads," is a dreamtime sacred site for aboriginals, so sacred that the Anangu will not speak of it to outsiders. The Tiwi reveal their understanding of Dreamtime through elaborate works of art, designed to capture life's essence.

5. Aboriginal Death Ceremonies (04:12)

The ceremony of Pukumani is the story of how death descended upon the world. Tiwi burial poles protect the spirit of the dead. For several days, mourners dance and sing, invoking the spirits to protect the deceased on his or her journey.

6. Death Rituals and Beliefs (01:40)

The Anangu believe that they must return to their birthplace in order to die. They might travel thousands of miles to reach their homeland. Death rituals bring all things full circle.

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