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MYTHOLOGY

From that till now has been told, we can allocate four basic aspects of religion of natives.

1. Myths - a basis of mythology in which religions are found with rather standardized oral embodiment.

2. Rituals (ceremonies) - expression of mythological and other representations in the organized actions more or less steady character.

3. Material subject matters or emblems; they can symbolize or represent the certain spirits, the certain essences, parts of a human body, etc.

4. The religious centers: the sites of the ground associating various mythical essences and totem by ancestors. Myths and ceremonies always are definitely localized.

 

Ceremonies and mythology supplement each other, despite the fact that what completely never coincide. The ceremony is an actualisation of the events told in a myth, or instructions, in him containing; the mythology supports, either proves, or explains ceremonies as a whole. In them that has the greatest value for the person is reflected; representations about a life and death, about reproduction of all live and about relations between the person and other objects of the nature. We saw that natives had an appropriating economy. They directly depended on the earth, from all that it makes. Natives possessed rather primitive technics and consequently at them was not, as at economically more developed people, means to reduce this dependence by nature. They did not have those technical achievements which would serve as the buffer between people and a severe natural environment, acts of nature: droughts, flooding, disappearance of animals used in food, etc. In such conditions correct, natural revolution of the season, constant, not decreasing quantity of animals in the plants used in food, are a matter of life and death.

 

Word " a myth " it is used usually in two opposite senses. In one it means the story or a cycle of songs of religious character; the sacred narration containing certain religious representations, or the instructions made any sacred or supernatural beings. In other this word means an invention, imagination. So, sometimes speak: " It only a myth " that creates mess as people, having heard a word " a myth " accept it in the second value and paste to it a label " a lie " (if only they do not practise the religion connected with this myth). In this work, however, a word " a myth " it is used only in its first value. For us it is important that natives consider the maintenance of the myths as the truth and that, in their representations, myths have the vital value for activity and well-being of the person. Myths can find or not find embodiments in ceremonies though the first occurs more often.

 

At natives of Australia, as well as at other people, not all oral stories can be named by the sacred. Some of them - usual stories or the fairy tales told on parking all present; children's fairy tales concern such popular stories also. Sometimes not sacred stories represent the schematical, reduced or a little changed variants of the most considerable religious myths. Moreover, not all members of a community are familiar with such myths. Adult men - keepers of a certain myth or its part keep it a secret and can be unique owners of all myth. So business in many areas of the country, for example in the northeast of Arnhemland, in East Kimberlja, in the Central Australia, in the northwest of South Australia is. So, in a tribe of Aranda only to the men of the certain territory storing myths connected with it, it is authorised to repeat them and to participate in the ceremonies devoted to it. Men of other territories should ask of the permission for carrying out of such ceremonies, proving the request telling arguments. The "present" owners of a myth participate in dances, and others help them, decorating or doing sacred subjects, or echoing.

 

Some members of a community can not know details, and even the main plots of the basic myths. Children though in those areas where boys take place dedication through the first ceremony, to him can tell the maintenance of the myths connected by them totem and their country do not know it, for example. Women can and not know all local myths even if the last concern directly them, but there are the myths which maintenance is known only to women. As a rule, the majority of adult members of a community if are not familiar with all sacred myths know something about the cores totem and sacred sites of the territory and about the main things the sacred beings connected with them. However so happens not always. Shtrelov [1947, with. 93] writes that “women of a tribe of Aranda remain not initiated and are ignorant. Any of sacred myths never reaches their ears. Lips never say them of words of traditional songs. Connected with a life of their ancestors of ceremony are carefully hidden from their sights. . Women can possess the most sacred subjects, Churinga which are stored by a clan, but all data on Churinga carefully disappear from them ”. We are inclined to see in it appreciably a formal picture as in practice all is perfect differently. It does not mean that women equally with men know myths and ceremonies, but nevertheless they know something, though men, as a rule, assert that women know nothing about them is more sacred a ceremonial life.

 

Even when the myth is widely known for everything, its sacred versions usually contain much more details, especially so far as concerns symbolics interpretation. Actually there is no such version of a myth which is considered is unique the correct. In known limits variants are supposed, switching on and personal interpretations. It is natural, if to people of one local group or linguistic association to give the chance to tell the myths closely connected with them there will be so much variants, at least and slightly different from each other, how much story-tellers. The basic aspects of told stories can be identical if at this time all story-tellers are in gathering and can discuss them. Now, when someone from them will tell this myth, the divergence will be less appreciable.

 

In the most part of Australia sacred myths are not given the shape an oral narration. They are retold in songs where keywords or phrases, but not the full maintenance of a myth are given only. The literal translation of songs in itself is insufficient, as the sense is covered in the associations connected with each word. Sometimes in songs so it is a lot of such special words that they represent special sacred language or, more correctly, special lexicon. In the northeast of Arnhemland the usual word can have and some the sacred equivalents which values slightly differ from given, and also variety of usual "song" words. The songs consisting of special sacred words, are executed during sacred ceremonies in certain sequence more often. As almost all sacred myths and ceremonial actions corresponding to them are connected with certain sites of district, and sometimes as well with sacred subjects, songs help people to save all it in memory. Almost any site of district which are in some measure remarkable, for example a site with a source of water, especially in desert, or a site, different something, whether it be the freakish form the rock or an especial hill, finds reflexion in a myth or in its any fragment. As a rule, only places absolutely deserted and not noted by any features do not associate with mythological plots.

CONTENT OF MYTHS

The majority of religious myths narrates about wanderings and actions of various mythical beings. Usually mythological plots in which certain characters operate, are extended in extensive territory. The natives occupying certain district, consider that the majority of these mythical beings has come to their edges from other areas or has left in other places. Mythical ancestors moved from one source to another along streams and the rivers or simply moved from one site on another, making in each place certain actions: created people and other live beings, formed a modern relief — mountains and ravines — and gave them names, entered ceremonies, sang sacred songs, there were other beings similar to them and spirits etc. These ways ancestors of Time of dreams went with which, are stretched in all directions. How such mythological routes lie in the Big Victoria desert, in the Western desert, in a mountainous part of the Central Australia and further to east part of Kimberley, around the river Victoria and in Northern Territory to p-ova Arnhemland, it is possible to assume that hundreds such ways or roads crossed one another on all continent, representing, at least potentially, the whole system.

We take, for example, series of myths about Mother-progenitress Kunapipi. From the river of Roper those ways with which it moved at the time of dreams, go on the northwest, through the river of Roses to Jirkala and Milingimbi, through Uilton on the river of Ljverpul and Oenpelli, on the West, to Katerin, deviating again to the northwest to the river of Dejli, and also on the south, to Tennant-shout. From Newcastle-Waters Kunapipi moved on the West and the southwest to Sert-shout; its other routes conduct to the rivers Victoria in Fitsmoris, and more one — to Vindhemu. In different places of Kunapipi name differently, and with its image various plots of local mythology communicate. As a whole this image is present at mythology approximately 35 " breeding " groups.

 

According to myths, Vadi Gudjara during the wanderings have crossed almost all Big Victoria desert and the Western desert and have passed through territories of many local groups. From 25 to 30 linguistic associations own myths in which Vadi Gudjara appear.

 

As a rule, neither local hereditary groups, nor clans, linguistic associations do not own all myth as a whole. Usually separate group possesses only one mythological fragment in which is narrated about any actions defined beings. The natives living in the neighbourhood, can own a following fragment of the same myth and to make the ceremonies connected with it. So one myth is in parts distributed between the groups occupying extensive territory. From time to time members of several local groups gather and arrange performances of the separate fragments. However the myth never is reproduced completely as all cannot gather those who owns its different fragments, and happens that the groups possessing various parts of the same myth, at all do not know each other.

Thus, it is obvious that complexes of ceremonies, myths and the ritual emblems connected with them, together with those religious representations which are expressed in myths and ceremonies, are various in different parts of the country. Data on mythology and the ceremonies existing in southern areas of the country, are rather unreliable, in connection with that that early supervision and records were quite often made not at high level. Early researchers were inclined to see much more, than is actually, and at the same time much not to notice, but also, they gave not enough attention to how natives interpret the myths. They did not conduct regular supervision and records and more often absolutely lowered or deformed the phenomena, not clear or shocking them. Now in the majority of areas in the south of Australia to check up these materials it is impossible. Natives here have undergone to too strong external influences. Studying of ceremonies and myths in those areas where they do not function any more as an everyday life integral part, is based substantially on history and memoirs with all consequences following from here. The core that it is necessary to mean, reading this chapter, it that we cannot be assured of correctness of data on mythology as those areas where researches were conducted by early authors, and where they were spent rather recently.

 

There are, for example, messages that some tribes in the southeast of Australia believed in the higher being, a masculine gender deity. Hauitt [1904, with. 488—508] has gone so far that spoke about “the founder of all” and came out with the assumption that Nurrundere (Ngurinderi), Nurelli (Nepal), Bundzhil, Munganngaua, Daramulun and Bajame (Bayami) “represented one and too a being under different names”. About mythology and the ceremonies connected with these images, it is known a little. At natives Camilaromi was considered that Bajame has created all real. Daramulun, under tribe legends юин, veins on the earth with the mother Ngalalbal.“ At this time there were no other men and women, there were only animals, birds and other live beings. He has created trees on the earth. Then Kaboka, the Ouzel, suited a flood in which everything was lost almost, except for several persons, from those people who were created by then by Daramulun. Survived have got out of water and have climbed on mountain Dromedari.Daramulun has gone on the sky where lives now, observing from above of affairs human ”. This subject line very easily could arise under the influence of the representations introduced by Europeans.

In 1943 in Menvndi we did not manage to hear a detailed statement of a myth about Bajame. Though this image was still well-known, however him recollected basically in connection with magic, was considered that it appears at carrying out of some ceremonies. Told that to it were under its protection. Probably, it is echoes any totem associations. Guriguda — mother Vakendy, the Raven was his wife. She has left the earth at the time of ancestors and has gone on the sky, in Vandaggangura, the country behind clouds. Here is how it was. Once it sat on parking together with the son Vakendon and his wife, which at this time fur-trees. Bakend for what did not wish to share meal with mother. Guriguda became angry, but Vakendu has bothered to listen to its grumble, and it has thrust to it in a knee a spear. Instead of taking away a spear, it has left it, and by means of a spear of Guriguda has scrambled on the sky. Gurigudaа it is similar to the usual woman, however its body instead of a skin is covered by quartz crystals, and at each movement it is shone. Its totem-assistant (Jaravajeva — “a flesh which inside”) — to it, therefore it and to it was identified.

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