Key words£ºstorytelling£¬Aboriginal£¬tradition, Australia  
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Genre£ºfolklore Topic£ºStorytelling Words:420
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Storytelling ensures that Aboriginal heritage
is passed on to the younger people.

Storytelling in Aboriginal Australia

Author£ºUnknown Source£º  
Date£º2008-5-26 Editor£ºEmma

(An Australian Aboriginal)


In Aboriginal Australian society storytelling makes up a large part of everyday life. Storytelling is not only about entertaining people but is also vital in educating children about life.

Storytelling is used in a variety of ways. It is used to teach children how they should behave and why, and to pass on knowledge about everyday life such as how and when to find certain foods. Stories are also used to explain peoples' spirituality, heritage and the laws. Dreaming stories pass on information to young people about creation, how the land was formed and populated, creation of plants, animals and humans, information about ancestral beings and places, the boundaries of peoples' tribal lands, how ancestors came to Australia, how people migrated across the country and arrived in a particular part of the country.

But not all information can be known by all people. Some information can only be revealed to certain people. This information is known as sacred. For example some sacred information can only be told to certain initiated women or men after they have carried out certain initiation rites.

The elders use every opportunity to educate the children about the way of life of their people. Stories are told while walking down to the waterhole or grinding up seeds to make damper (bread) or sitting around the campfire at night. As children grew older more information is passed on about their culture. Once a person becomes an adult they are responsible for passing on the information they had learned to the younger people.

Storytelling ensures that Aboriginal heritage is passed on to the younger people. This is how Dreaming stories have been passed down for thousands of years and continue to be passed on today.

Today storytelling in Indigenous Australia is still a very important way of passing on information to people. For thousands of years information has been passed on through stories and songs. Today you can also see and hear it in many types of music, plays, poetry, books, artwork, on television and on the Web and you can now read in books the traditional stories that were once only spoken.

These stories keep alive the traditions and heritage of Indigenous Australia not only within Indigenous communities but also within the wider community. This helps to increase understanding and awareness between people.

Today, as well as elders in the communities, we have professional story tellers who visit schools and other educational groups passing on their knowledge about Indigenous culture and beliefs.



Why is storytelling so important to Australian Aboriginals?



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