We Aussies are well known for our quirky sense of humour, larrikinism and for telling ripping good yarns - and we are known for not letting the truth get in the way of a good story We're going to share with you our love of all things Australian.
Their songs, chants, legendsand stories, however, constituted rich oral literatureand, since the Aboriginal peoples had no common language, these creations were enormously diverse. Long unavailable to Australian poems misunderstood by non-Aboriginal people, their oral traditions appear from researches undertaken in the last half of the 20th century to be of considerable subtlety and complexity.
The oral literature of Aboriginal peoples has an essentially ceremonial function. It supports the fundamental Aboriginal beliefs that what is given cannot be changed and that the past exists in an eternal present, and it serves to relate the individual and the landscape to the continuing spiritual influence of the Dreaming or Dreamtime —widely known as the Alcheringa or Altjeringathe term used by the Aboriginal peoples of central Australia—a mythological past in which the existing natural environment was shaped and humanized by ancestral beings.
While the recitation of the song cycles and narratives is to some extent prescribed, it also can incorporate new experience and thus remain applicable—both part of the past called up by the Ancestors and part of the present.
Aboriginal oral tradition may be public open to all members of a community and often a kind of entertainment or sacred closed to all but initiated members of one or the other sex.
Narratives of the public sort range from stories told by women to young children mostly elementary versions of creation stories—also appropriate for tourists and Australian poems anthropologists to the recitation of song cycles in large gatherings known as corroborees.
Even the most uncomplicated narratives of the Dreaming introduce basic concepts about the land and about what it is that distinguishes right behaviour from wrong. When children are old enough to prepare for their initiation ceremonies, the stories become more elaborate and complex.
The chief subject of Aboriginal narratives is the land. As Aboriginal people travel from place to place, they either informally or ceremonially name each place, telling of its creation and of its relation to the journeys of the Ancestors. This practice serves at least three significant purposes: Other stories concern contests between Ancestor figures for power and knowledge.
A sequence of stories or songs —a story track or song line—identifies the precise route taken by an Ancestor figure. Members of an immediate biological family belong to different totems, or Dreamings.
Totem membership can be determined in various ways, from association with a locale to an acknowledgment of spiritual kinship. Song lines and story tracks can be traced over the entire country. In this way oral literature sustains the sense of continuity between the clans as well as between the present and the time of creation.
Important stories that deal with the activities of perhaps just one or two of the ancestral figures and belong to adjacent areas and adjacent clans may constitute a song cycle. Some of these stories do not allow for variation and constitute a formal literature with precise structures and particular language.
For example, repetition is an important structural device. Verb forms and tenses indicate the unchanging yet ongoing relationship between the ancestral past and the present. The persistent theme of transformation, a theme characteristic of many oral literatures, is for the people a way of access to their mythic past, to the eternal present of the Dreaming.
The Djanggawul song cycle recounts in songs the journey of three ancestral beings, a Brother and Two Sisters, in the Millingimbi region. Those Ancestors created all that territory. Water holes become sacred because there they created the people of a particular totem or there an important aspect of the law was established.
Places acquire a name; they come into being. Much of the cycle is about fertility and increase and about the relations between men and women. For example, men steal from the Sisters the sacred objects and the power that goes with them, and, while that legend might appear to concede the dominance of men in tribal practice according to customit also acknowledges women as the original source of power and knowledge.
Above all, the oral literature of Aboriginal peoples is involved with performance. It is not simply a verbal performance. Traditional song is very often associated with dance, and storytelling with gesture and mime.
Or stories may be accompanied by diagrams drawn in the sand and then brushed away again.
Each song, each narrative, is in effect acted out. Storytellers will customarily announce who they are, where they come from, and what their relation to the story is, as though they are its agent. They may provide a frame for their story.The Australian Poetry Library is a website which contains over 42, poems, representing the work of more than Australian poets.
Many poets, such as Les Murray and John Tranter have websites. Search for the names of the poets you are interested in. Australian Identity Through Poetry. The Australian identity is as diverse as the country itself.
Each and every Australian has a unique perception of Australia, yet there is also a common awareness of Australia as a whole. Australian poems by Australian poets are at the heart of The Red Room Company, an organisation devoted to creating, publishing and promoting the reading and writing of .
Directory of Scrabble Clubs within Australia. Check words online. Download study lists and tournament software. Get directions to play online. View photos of state and national champions. All-time record scores and other curious feats. ‘Above all, poetry – for both its readers and its writers – is a form that demands attentiveness and active intelligence.
It treats language as a volatile and charged commodity, and one whose subtleties and nuances are worth puzzling over.’ —Sarah Holland-Batt. Australian Poems for Children by Rogers, Gregory, Scott-Mitchell, Clare, Griffith, Kathlyn and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at srmvision.com