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Jennifer Isaacs - Australian Aboriginal - Song Poetry



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Australian Dreaming 40,000 years of aboriginal history – Jennifer Isaacs

Song poetry is chanted incessantly to the accompaniment of didgeridoos and clapsticks........

In the arid centre of Australia there is no one great Spirit Ancestor responsible for life, but numerous totemic beings who existed contemporaneously with each other.  The path of each man’s ancestors as he wandered the land forms his own ‘Dreaming’ path and at various times of the year particular rocks, waterholes, trees or caves which mark the route are visited for the performance of ceremonies.

During successive days and nights of song-poetry chanted into the dawn, the dancers methodically stamp and move in rhythmic imitation of the events which befell the Ancestor at this point. 

Their bodies are decorated totally with feathers, ochre and grass seeds stuck to their bodies with dried sacred blood let from their veins

Dancers at different Dreamings become Nintaka the perentie, Windaru the bandicoot, Kalara the emu, Kanga the crow, Malu the kangaroo or Mala the hare-wallaby

The source of the experience

Australian aboriginal

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps