Dreamtime, The Aboriginal Heritage

By Ainslie Roberts


A man’s Dreaming merged with the Dreamtime. Everything in life, whether tangible or intangible, had been influenced by the people of the Dreamtime: the creators of the world and those who lived in the beginning.

Therefore, everything that he saw, did, felt, and experienced was to some degree sacred. The landscape in which an Aboriginal lived was shaped in the form he could observe because the Dreamtime people made it so. Countless features had a Dreamtime explanation: the exploits of Dreamtime heroes and villains had influenced the shape of rocks, the colours of the earth, the windings of a watercourse. Such features were tangible memorials of his tribe’s creative ancestors and mainstays of its emotional life.

I saw my role as a white man. painting in the white man’s style, and painting for white people and trying to bridge this gap between the two cultures in a way that just might give back to the Aborigines some of the dignity and some of the respect that I don’t think they deserved to lose in the first place. – Ainslie Roberts, Beyond the Dreamtime film.

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