Far off in Dreamtime, there were only people, no animals or birds, no trees or bushes, no hills or mountains.
The country was flat. Goorialla, the great Rainbow Serpent, stirred and set off to look for his own tribe. He travelled across Australia from South to North. He reached Cape York where he stopped and made a big red mountain called Naralullgan. He listened to the wind and heard only voices speaking strange languages.
This is not my country, the people here speak a different tongue. I must look for my own people. Goorialla left Naralullgan and his huge body made a deep gorge where he came down. He travelled North for many days and his tracks made the creeks and rivers as he journeyed North. Goorialla made two more mountains, one of the Naradunga was long made of granite, the other had sharp peaks and five caves and was called, Minalinha. One day Goorialla heard singing and said, "Those are my people, they are holding a big Bora." At the meeting place of the two rivers, Goorialla found his own people singing and dancing. He watched for a long time, then he came out and was welcomed by his people. He showed the men how to dress properly and taught them to dance. A big storm was gathering, so all the people built humpies for shelter.
Two young men, the bil-bil or Rainbow Lorikeet brothers came looking for shelter but no one had any room. They asked their grandmother, the Star Woman but she had too many dogs and couldn't help them. the Bil-bil brothers went to Goorialla who was snoring in his humpy but he had no room. The rain got heavier and the boys went back to Goorialla and called out that the rain was heavy. Goorialla said, "All right come in now." The Bil-bil bothers ran into Goorialla's mouth and he swallowed them. Then he began to worry about what the people would say when they found the boys missing. He decided to travel North to Bora-bunaru, the only great natural mountain in the land. Next morning the people found that the boys were gone and saw the tracks of Goorialla and knew that he had swallowed them.
You may never see these lakes or mountains, but after the rain you will see his spirit in the sky , which is the rainbow. This is the reason why he is called Goorialla the Rainbow Serpent.
this was balanced by thecomplexity of their religious ideas and the elaboration of their ritualactivities, which the people themselves regarded as intrinsically signi-ifcant techniques for ensuring productivity of man and nature. Thesestemmed from, and were important features of, the pan-Australian totemic philosophy — the view of the universe that regarded man, society and nature as interlocking and interacting elements in a larger,functionally integrated totality. According to Aboriginal belief, each variable in the system had an eternal, moral commitment to maintain itself unchanged for the benefit of the others and to contribute to the proper functioning of the system as a whole. As the mythical ancestors and culture heroes of the long past Dreamtime had defined the characteristics of the totality once and for all when they had participated in its creation and shaping, any subsequent change in any variable would inevitably affect the whole — and that for the worse. Thus it was the duty of every man to ensure, mainly by magico-religious means, that the status quo be preserved, an obligation that obviously ruled out most possibilities of cultural innovation, whether in the sphere of technology or of law.
This kind of world-view emerged clearly in the Aborigines' attitudes to their homeland, be it the narrowly bounded habitation of a coastal fishing group or the vast domain of wandering desert dwellers.
The territory was of course the main, if not the sole, source of food for the local unit. Even if, as was sometimes the case, the group hunted and foraged freely in the districts of similar neighbouring units, it had unequivocal title only to its own land, to the land with which it had spiritual bonds. That is to say, tribesmen did not acquire or inherit only the right to exploit the material resources of the tribal country; they also received the double privilege and obligation of maintaining the sacred tracks and sites of the ancestral and heroic beings who created the land and all its inhabitants. Here maintenance did not mean mere protection from trespass or desecration but rather that certain groups, associations, or lodges oft ribesmen were also expected to preserve and transmit unchanged the detailed myths and songs that recounted the exploits of the Dreamtimecreatures and to perform regularly the quasi-historical and religiousrituals that re-enacted the events of the Dreamtime.
Arden, H. 1994 Dreamkeepers: A Spirit-Journey into Aboriginal Australia
Flood, J. 1983 rev 1990 The Archeology of Dreamtime, Yale University Press
Meggitt,M. J, 1962 Desert People, Aboriginal food-gatherers of tropical Australia, Proceedings 9th Technical Meeting, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Meggitt, M. J, 1964, Indigenous forms of government among the Australian Aborigine
M. K. Organ, 1994 Australian Aboriginal Dreaming Stories: A Chronological Bibliography of Published Works 1789-1991
Povinelli, E.A., 1993, 'Might Be Something': The Language of Indeterminacy in Australian Aboriginal Land Use, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.
Wolfe, P., 1991, On Being Woken Up: The Dreamtime in Anthropology and in Australian Settler Culture, Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History.