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Resource to accompany scheme of work from TD Autumn 1 10/11. Aboriginal Dreamtime. An introduction Year 12 IB Theatre Arts. Defining the ‘dreamtime’. All things began with it It continues to co-exist with our ‘now’ time It is all things past, present and future It is sacred

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Aboriginal dreamtime l.jpg

Resource to accompany scheme of work from TD Autumn 1 10/11

Aboriginal Dreamtime

An introduction

Year 12 IB Theatre Arts


Defining the dreamtime l.jpg
Defining the ‘dreamtime’

  • All things began with it

  • It continues to co-exist with our ‘now’ time

  • It is all things past, present and future

  • It is sacred

  • It is the ‘time before time’

  • It is the ‘time outside time’

  • It is the ‘time of creation of all things’


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What it means to indigenous people

  • Belief system

  • Moral teaching

  • Spiritual code

  • Making sense of the world

  • They belong to the dreamtime

  • History and tradition

  • Identity – often linked to animals and plants


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The connection with the land

One belief was that, before animals, humans and plants were created, there were souls who knew that they would become physical, but did not know when.

When the time was right, they all said: ‘we will do our very best to try to help the one that takes care of us all.’ Then they all became animals or plants. The last soul became the human.

That is why aboriginals all respect the environment and want to be at one with nature because they are their friends.


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The purpose of dreamtime stories

  • To explain the world – how the birds got their colour; how the tortoise lost its tale; how the black snake became poisonous.

  • To teach – where the water holes are, how to navigate using the stars.

  • To connect with their totemic ancestors


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Links to western culture

  • Bible stories

  • Aesop’s fables

  • Fairy tales

  • Grimm tales

  • Creationism


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Fundamental differences

  • The myths are ‘real’

  • Dreams and ‘real life’ co-exist


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Performance elements

  • Initiation/ritual

  • Meme – passing down

  • Motif

  • Songs/soundscape

  • Dances

  • Poetry

  • Paintings and sculpture


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Dreamtime as theatre

  • Total theatre – music, image, word

  • Storytelling tradition

  • Evolves as art evolves

  • Communal

  • Social function


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