Dreamtime: The Australian Kinship System

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Australian Kinship Tina Manley Anthropology Mitra Rokni October 17, 2011 Anthropology was started as the study of human kinship systems. What exactly is a kinship system? A kinship system was one of the most important domains of research for about 90 years. It has been the domain through which both, the universality of humanity was underlined, and cultural specificities were demonstrated. It allowed showing that all human societies or cultures have universally recognized characteristics, but it also allowed to demonstrate that each culture has its own specificity. An introduction into the study of social organization was one of the most important domains of research for about 90 years. It has been the domain through which both, the…show more content…
Dreamtime can also refer to a specific geographic or topographic point or a totem spirit (animal spirit recognized as a kin group's ancestor). It is an all–pervasive philosophy that permeates all aspects of Aboriginal life (Nowak, 2010). A group associated with a totem shares a mystical connection. Aboriginal people believe that they are like their totem and that the totem gave birth to their ancestors in a mythical time. The association between people and their totem is so strong that Aboriginal people believe their health is linked to the totem's wellbeing. Hence, people carry on periodic rituals to ensure the totem's welfare. Aboriginals believe that the ancestors deposited the spirits of living beings on earth during the Dreamtime, the period of creation. All the spirits inhabiting the natural world come from the Dreamtime. Ancestors still exist in the Dreamtime, and it is their role to act as intermediaries between the human world–the profane world–and the sacred world of Dreamtime. The ancestors intervene in life and death. They control our feelings and our lives. Dreamtime thus explains creation while also playing a significant role in a person's present and future life. Dreamtime can be seen through art, through myths and stories, and through dreams. It is through the ancestors traversed the earth, marking individual bands' territories. Ancestors traveled the earth creating sacred sites and song lines, which are songs describing geographic and topographic features of sacred paths that allowed people to navigate long distances (Nowak, 2010). I feel this would be an excellent way to feel one not only with yourself, but with others and the

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