The 'dreamtime' or 'dreaming' is a term that we use to
describe how we perceive the way the indigenous people of Australia see their
origins. It is a perception that does not convey the real meaning, as there is
no English word that can convey all of the interpretations that is expressed by
the different Aboriginal tribes through their individual languages as can be
found for example in 'Tjukurpa' or 'Wapar'.
the Dreaming is the essential mythology of aboriginal culture, which
underpins the whole of traditional relations between the land and all (not
merely humans) who inhabit it.3
Today, the stories of these periods have been passed down
in song and dance, some depicted in rock art and represented in the natural
features of the landscape, as well as the land forms and the skies above. The
story telling has also evolved beyond the rock art and dot painting, with
individuals and whole communities producing abstract works that fit well with
the modern galleries and museums.
This is as simple as possible description of the Dreamtime, as we Europeans
can interpret it. It is a period that includes before, and the act of creation,
and the period that leads up to and culminates in human existence.4
'Dreamtime Stories' also referred to as 'Dreamings' are the stories that have
been passed down orally or detailed through pictorial expression that belong to
the mythology of the 'Dreamtime'. In our modern age, Indigenous people may
provide a general interpretation of some of the stories, some expressed through
their modern art, although much of the finer detail, for many cultural reasons
are not revealed.