Cosmologies In Indigenous Australia

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There are obvious clashes between cosmologies and ritual systems of the indigenous Australian’s and the British colonisers. Unfortunately for the cultures of the Indigenous Australian’s the Colonial powers acted to dominate and impose their own rituals and cosmological beliefs upon the indigenous peoples. There are many aspects where these rituals and beliefs of cosmologies created a clash in cultures, for examples the beliefs of the origins of humans, the heavy importance of spirit, mourning rituals as well as many others. This essay aims to show these clashes in these rituals and cosmologies and how in most cases how colonial laws and impositions acted to diminish these cultural aspects of the indigenous world. One major clash evident through…show more content…
In the aboriginal culture the spirits act as ways to pass on knowledge and stories from generation to generation (First People’s: Bunjilaka, 2013). These stories and knowledge are not whimsical stories but stories that people live by that teach good ways to behave and how to act for example the story of how the crow became black in colour is due to the crow’s arrogance and jealousy, once the crow learned how to create fire he set fire to the world and everything including himself burned, hence the crow being of black colouring (First People’s: Bunjilaka, 2013). This story shows not to be arrogant and jealous but also more practically shows the danger of fire, the fact that the spirits pass these warnings and stories through the generations is not something that occurs in the traditional perhaps British colonial beliefs. These spirits are also represented physically in the aboriginal culture through objects such as the possum skin cloaks, it is believed that the spirits of elders passed are present in these objects and the passing on of these objects from one another is another aspect of the spirits passing on their knowledge (First People’s: Bunjilaka, 2013). A similar culture the Kwakwaka’wakw employ in this case spiritual wealth upon physical objects through the process of the potlatch (Masco, 1995) which is similar to the indigenous Australian cultures where physical objects such as the possum skin cloaks and ceremonial bowls have a link to the spiritual world (First People’s: Bunjilaka,

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