From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Religion / Interfaith (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Interfaith work group.
WikiProject Australia / Indigenous peoples (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon Dreamtime is within the scope of WikiProject Australia, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of Australia and Australia-related topics. If you would like to participate, visit the project page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Indigenous peoples of Australia (marked as Top-importance).
Note icon
Need help improving this article? Ask a LibrarianWhat's this? at the National Library of Australia.
Note icon
The Wikimedia Australia chapter can be contacted via email to for other than editorial assistance.
WikiProject Mythology    (Inactive)
WikiProject icon This article was within the scope of WikiProject Mythology, a project which is currently considered to be inactive.

Too many generalizations, retitle article[edit]

Different Aboriginal tribes have wildly differing stories, with many contradictions, both between stories AND within them. Is this surprising? Using the term "Dreamtime" and expecting there to be no difference between cultures (let alone individuals) is as absurd as expecting to find no disagreement between Martin Luther King and Fred Phelps, since they are both considered "Christians". Even when we have a "foundational" document (the Bible) at our disposal (which we obviously don't in the case of the Australian Aboriginals), the ambiguity of language and the complexity of human thought require one to draw conclusions carefully and specifically, not recklessly and generally, which is where "Dreamtime" as a concept of English thought failed. The only reason why we still use the term "the Dreaming" is because 1) it's concise and therefore convenient, and 2) since we know it has to do with the mysticism of a people, it is compelling in its vagueness. It may still have some value, but not until more research is done and disseminated.

There are surely consistencies between Aboriginal beliefs, and they should be addressed, but not by using the term "The Dreaming" as a starting point; the article should be retitled "The Cosmology (or some other such term) of Australian Aboriginals" or something like that, and dealt with on a regional/tribal basis. Further reading: "The Australian Aboriginal 'Dreamtime'" by Colin Dean. Gamahucher Press: West Geelong Geelong Victoria Australia, 1996. Available as a PDF, Google it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mendali (talkcontribs) 20:34, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Triple time-scheme?[edit]

  • The Dreamtime is the era before the Earth was created, ...
  • The Dreamtime still exists and can be accessed for spiritual purposes.
  • ...he created the Earth and then retired as the Dreamtime vanished.

Can somebody explain how these 3 excerpts from the article can be true at the same time. How can the Dreamtime still exist when it has vanished? Is the Dreamtime really an era in time which has finished, or is it rather some sort of parallel space-time concept? I'm well aware that I shouldn't see space and time here as they are understood in the West, but I'm unsure how I should see it then. D.D. 09:18, 1 Oct 2003 (UTC)

As I understood it, different aboriginal cultures have slightly different stories; one doesn't have to agree with the other... Or maybe it's some sort of "Time is meaningless in the Dreamtime" sort of deal? Perhaps the Dreamtime WILL vanish when the Earth is done being created?

In a culture without writing or printing, the dreamtime is any time before living memory.

PS: why on earth expect people's religions to make sense? Try working out what the trinity is supposed to be all about, or the hypostatic union, then come back and criticise the dreamtime.

Moved this link off the article:

Music to Dream to: CD 2001 Dreamtime - Stranglers

this should be made a link to an article, not to an external commercial site. --FvdP 18:27, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

As I understand it, while the Dreaming is the prehistoric time during which the world was created by the Ancestors, it also refers to the present and future times because of the spiritual link between Aborigines and the Ancestors through the Country. Thus there is an understanding of the 'Dreaming worldview', where the Ancestor's spirits make a direct contribution to the world. Similar to say Greco-Roman mythology, or the Old Testament notion of God, where gods interact with mankind, rather than being distant. Artiste-extraordinaire 05:29, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I see it as the time of creation, but rather than existing at the beginning linearly, it is outside time. I could be wrong.

Surely the article goes on to explain how the Dreamtime can have ended and still be continuing when it explains the Aboriginal concept of time - ie that linear time is created by our own subjective consciousness and is subjective while an objective view of things is that all time is simultaneous (cf T S Eliot's The Four Quartets). Most religions including Christianity and Judiasm see God as existing outside Time and Space. I think this is pretty clear in the article, which seems excellent to me by the way. ThePeg 12.8.2006

Moved "An Opinion" from page[edit]

moved this "opinion" added by an anonymous contributor from the article page as wikipedia articles should not include opinions. that said, some of the content may be salvageable and re-added back into the article if it is rewritten in a npov-style. clarkk 06:10, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

An Opinion
Dreamtime stories perform the usual function of mythologies - giving lessons about morality and history. In Australia's harsh climate, however, they serve an additional function. They encode information about the terrain - where the waterholes are, where to find food etc. The men traditionally hold these stories secret. By this means territory is held, in that other tribes simply cannot survive in one's territory because they "do not know the dreamings" - do not know where to find water, food etc.
A tribe's culture, therefore, is not simply a matter of drawings and songs. It relates to the actual terrain. "See that hill over there? That's where the echidna-spirit slept for 3 years, and that's where we are heading now - there's water there". Information like this cannot really be passed on from one generation to the next without physically walking over the tribe's range.
Environmental change (fencing, mining, farming) and wholesale relocation of aboriginal tribes by European settlement inevitably destroys a tribe's culture by gutting its content. There is no way around this - it is a permanent and intractable problem. It furthermore leaves no role for the menfolk to occupy, causing a variety of social ills.

The first two paragraphs (and first sentence of the third) are pretty much NPOV and I think an accurate description. Sad mouse 22:58, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

NPOV, perhaps, but not exactly accurate, and maybe even a bit inconsiderate. For example, Aboriginal culture doesn't have the Western notion of "territory", but rather the area in which each tribe and clan lives is under their ritual responsibility to maintain. It isn't a matter of wanting to take over another tribes area, since each tribe has a notion of where they belong: in the Country of their Ancestors. Also, the 'quote' wtih the echidna-spirit is a potentially insulting generalisation, unless it can be shown to have come from somewhere. Lastly, with the last paragraph, it might be a good idea to point out that the relocation of Aboriginal tribes by successive colonial and State governments, as well as the restriction of their freedom of movement (from about 1850 until the early 1970's), had the negative effect on Aboriginal peoples' ability to celebrate the Dreaming, since the inextricable connection to their land had been severed.
This passage can be saved, someone just needs to fix up some of the inaccuracies. I would, but I just couldn't be asked.Artiste-extraordinaire 05:43, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I feel it is quite good, except that Australian Aboriginal people did not live in tribes. John D. Croft 19:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Abstract thinking[edit]

I think you are very close in your cultural definition, I would go even further by correcting the article where it states " Indigenous Australians considered the Everywhen of the Dreaming to be objective, whilst linear time was considered a subjective construction of waking consciousness of one's own lifetime. This is in the converse of the European concept which views dreams as subjective and linear time as objective" This would be correct if the aboriginals were actually speaking of what we call dreams, but what was pointed out most astutely in the line before is that " Indigenous Australians considered the Everywhen of the Dreaming to be objective" as do what western culture describes as abstract thought. Aristotle makes the very same observation when he predicates truth statements on abstract cultural universals and deems the particular experience of the individual as subjective and less real than objective universal abstract thought in much the same way as the Australian aboriginal. Abstract universal cultural themes, as Plato asserted, seem more real than inductive experience. Dreamtime therefore follows closely with Plato's theory of forms. I propose citing Wiki's own link to Platos theory of forms and abstract thought. Naredowell (talk) 19:45, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Before Existence[edit]

The Aboriginal Dreamtime makes excellent sense when looked at in terms of Potential. Before anything can be said to exist it must have the potential to exist. Potential has no substance and nor does a dream. Potentials represent ideas, possibilities or a blueprint for what can be. Given energy potentials can be actualised. These Potentials/Dreamtime can still be accessed as an idea can be accessed. When a potential is fullfilled it is no longer a potential but an actuality. It cannot be said that the potential has ceased to exist once it is fullfilled because potentials do not truly exist in the first place. To access the Dreamtime would be to access the world of Potentials.

Nice analogy. Do any experts have anything to say about this?Artiste-extraordinaire 05:58, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Moving definition to top[edit]

The definition of what the dreamtime actually is was buried in the middle, I am moving it to the top. GreatAlfredini 20:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I am a Christian and I can make sense of it this way:

· The Dreamtime is the era before the Earth was created, ... In the beginning there was only God, a spiritual being without form. Therefore there existed nothing physical. Anywhere.

· ...he created the Earth and then retired as the Dreamtime vanished. In the Genesis story God manifested himself and created the earth and the heavens. Afterwhich he "retired" or unmanifested himself, and since now there is physical presence [his creations] the dreamtime was transformed. If you think of the Dreamtime as an empty room and you put furniture in the room. The empty room "vanishes" and in its place is a room with furniture. The "empty" room still exists, you just cant see it. Remove the furniture and it reappears.

· The Dreamtime still exists and can be accessed for spiritual purposes. Just as God exists [to believers], even though he isnt perceivable to us we know that through prayer we can "access" him. Now instead of an empty room think of Dreamtime as God's mind before he created the known universe, with no perceivable thought. Even though he has his creations to keep his mind occupied, you can still get his undivided attention. It make sense to me; I hope this helped. ElOne

Bang on, ElOne. Couldn't have put it better myself. Now add in the Hindu concept of Brahma and the Creation of the Universe, the Vedic description, the Kabbalist description and you will get consistent descriptions of the same phenomenon. Then have a think about the Big Bang Theory and wonder if the scientific and religious ideas of Creation aren't perhaps mirrors/metaphors for each other. :-) ThePeg 12.8.2006


I'd never heard of the Dreamtime until an Aussie mate mentioned it to me - having found this article it seems like a very beautiful mythology. Why isn't it more well-known? And why isn't it classified as a religion? I can see that there seem to be very diverse interpretations of it depending on which aboriginal peoples you're talking about, but Hinduism is equally diverse. That idea of potential is nice too - links into prana and buddhist concepts of energy. Hope someone in the know expands this article, it's excellent! Joziboy 1 March 2006, 21:49 UTC

It's not very well-known because the ideas in it aren't exactly concrete: they are defined differently between different cultural groups. Not only that, the beliefs have a strong connection to specifc geographical locations which makes it somewhat unpalatable to outsiders to understand; similar to Judaism's obsession with the physical place of Israel, except Judaism has played a much more prominent role in human history than Indigenous Australians. And true, Aboriginal spirituality is more closely connected to the more metaphysical Indus religions, and it would be good to include a link between them and Hinduism/Buddhism, but unless an expert has published anything, it would just be opinions.
Joziboy - It isn't well known because, alas, there hasn't been a great deal of enthusiasm for Aboriginal culture before recently, particularly in Australia itself where, even now, Aboriginals are not treated terribly - how shall I put it? - well? In fact the Aboriginal concept of reality has extraordinary parallels with many discoveries of Quantum Phsyics. For example the Aboriginals recognise eleven dimensions to existence. Cartesian/Newtonian Physics recognise three with Einstein suggesting Time as the fourth. The latest developments in modern String Theory posits the existence of eleven - so teh Aboriginals were there first. Similarly the Aboriginal concept of Time and its relationship to consciousness relates to David Bohm's idea of Time being different in the Enfolded and Non-Enfolded realities of existence, and his idea of consciousness defining our perception of reality. The Aboriginal idea that all Time is eternally present and that linear time is a human idea is common to can be found in T S Eliot's The Four Quartets and the theories of J W Dunne. If the Aboriginals are genuinely operating on a different wavelength to us in terms of reality it would explain the gulf of understanding between them and we Westerners with our three-dimensional, rational materialism. THe irony is that these people with no or at least a different concept of time or possession may be closer to the truth than us lot with our obsession with ammassing as much as possible before our time runs out. Now wouldn't that be funny? One thing's for sure, their harmony with the ecosystem puts our precipitate rush towards destroying ours through greedy consumption to shame. Perhaps we have something to learn from these people? :-) ThePeg 12.8.2006
They certainly deserve to be respected more than they have been in the past, but I think promoting them to perfect superhumans is just as insulting. They're just people, just like everyone else. They don't have secret knowledge of the way of the universe. They have special knowledge about the environment they live in—just like any people who have lived in an environment for several generations gains knowledge about it. Ethnobiologists do try to learn what indigenous peoples know about the world around them, and we're discovering habits of animals and uses of plants we didn't know about before. But somehow I doubt there is going to be a field of ethnophysics.
Do you have a source for "the Aboriginals recognise eleven dimensions to existence"? I've never heard of it. It's interesting when you consider that Aboriginal languages don't have words for numbers as high as eleven. --Ptcamn 19:24, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was don't move. —Nightstallion (?) 15:22, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Could we move this page?[edit]

The Dreamtime is actually an offensive term to the Aborigines, it was invented as a condesending term for the silly things they believe. The correct term (and more accurate one) is the Tjukurpa, which is a network of beliefs that covers creation myths, tribal laws, family interactions, hunting/gathering advice, etc. So maybe "dreamtime" could redirect to Tjukurpa and the opening paragraph could explain that the Dreamtime was the European name for their belief system. Sad mouse 22:54, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Sambo 03:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe it is offensive, or at least not to all Aboriginal groups, since I've seen it used in works that are otherwise very sensitive to cultural issues. Tjukurpa, on the other hand, is its name in just one of many languages. --Ptcamn 03:53, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
The trick is to find a term that isn't offensive to any Aboriginal group. I'm thinking, I'm thinking... Sambo 03:55, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see a link or a citation before we do anything. And even then it might be better to just stick with Dreamtime if no better term is actually in use. --Ptcamn 03:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed that it is only the name in one language, how has this problem been overcome in other cases? but disagree that we should stick with an offensive and inaccurate term just because it is commonly used - people will still find the article if it is redirected. Until recently Ayer's Rock was the only name anyone used for Uluru but the official dual name policy (Ayer's Rock to Ayer's Rock-Uluru to Uluru-Ayer's Rock) changed that. Sad mouse 14:30, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

JA: Maybe it's best to go through the formal procedure on this one. I will do the paperwork. Jon Awbrey 15:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Oppose see above --Ptcamn 15:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per previous discussion, pending further evidence to the contrary. Jon Awbrey 15:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support moving away from "Dreamtime", since it can be offensive. If someone knows a better term to use than Tjukurpa that would be good. I doubt there is a common word in the different languages, so perhaps the most common language should be used with alternatives noted in the opening. Either way it would be more accurate because it includes the broader scope of culture and law rather than just creation myths. Sad mouse 17:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - better to offend fewer. Would support Tjukurpa followed by bracketed non-offensive English term for clarity. Sambo 22:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now; "Tjukurpa" is a virtually unknown term. Once it gains some traction in the wider Australian community, I would support. Incidentally, I've heard it said that "the Dreamtime" has been deprecated in favour of "the Dreaming" because the former incorrectly implies that it refers to a past era, whereas the latter correctly implies that it continues in the present day. Snottygobble 00:47, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I've heard aborigine speakers refer to Dreamtime on many occasions, and Tjukurpa is the concept in one of hundreds of dialects (from those around Uluru, I believe). Steve 00:49, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per SnottyG. Is there any demonstration that the current title is considered widely offensive? Taking a term which has only a specific regional/linguistic use seems problematic, in that it could imply there's a greater degree of homogeneity to belief systems than is actually the case.--cjllw | TALK 01:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Steve (User:Slf67), and as in fact noted in the bottom of the article that there are many different words in different dialects. Use redirects to link from differing dialects. Tjukurpa may indeed merit its own articles - Dreamtime is not actually a homogenous concept either, any more than christianity is - you wouldn't redirect Christianity to Roman Catholic Church (I hope not anyway). --A Y Arktos\talk 01:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Eurocentric, certainly, but I'd need to see some evidence that it's a term of disparagement. -- I@ntalk 01:34, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Steve. It's too exclusive, whereas we are looking for an umbrella term to describe all the Australian indigenous spiritual beliefs/systems. Would support rename to "Austalian aboriginal/indigenous mythology/spirituality" or similar if "Dreamtime" is offensive as an umbrella term. — Donama 02:03, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, there are/were more than 500 different Indigenous Australian languages, and picking a word which is not used by all of them defeats the very goal that it professes to achieve. --bainer (talk) 03:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, notwithstanding the fact that there are hundreds of names for this particular mythology, and this is only one of them, it is called "Dreamtime" in English. Do we move the article on Greek Mythology to something in Greek, to avoid offending Zeus-worshippers? Lankiveil 06:47, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not right to use name from only some dialects of many indigenous languages, unless it has widespred English usage. I would support moving to "the Dreaming" per Snottygobble. JPD (talk) 10:29, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Snottygrobble. Andjam 10:55, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Tjukurpa should be a great article... on Western Desert traditional law specifically. The proposed move is like renaming the article on Native Americans Lakota. ~J.K. 00:40, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree that Tjukurrpa could be an interesting article, but as a word found in a restricted set of languages (Western Desert Language and some of its close relatives and neighbours) I think it could also be construed as (offensively) privileging one group over others who have similar traditional mythology but use different terms. Dougg 03:20, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Tjukurrpa is a name in a specific language, it is not generic to Australian Aboriginal people. Dreamtime is not the word that is widely used by Aboriginal people themselves in the West. "Dreaming" is better. John D. Croft 19:35, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


Add any additional comments
  • Slightly off topic, but why do you keep talking about "dialects"? Dialects may very well actually use the same word. It's languages that tend to differ from each other. --Ptcamn 01:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
    • A dialect is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. Varieties of language such as dialects ... can be distinguished ... by their vocabulary and grammar. Steve 02:46, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
      • I'm pretty sure Ptcamn already knows what a dialect is; he's one of our resident linguistics experts. The point he's making is that the word Tjukurpa may well share a common meaning across most or even all indigenous dialects. Does anyone know if this is the case? I'll ask Dougg. Snottygobble 03:01, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually the point I was going to make that "dialect" is sometimes used disparagingly, as though it's not a full language. I doubt that's the sense it was being used in above, but I don't know why it was being used at all--I mean, nobody ever refers to French and German as "European dialects".
I doubt Tjukurpa is used outside of the Western Desert Language, and even within it there's certainly going to be variation. --Ptcamn 03:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
IIRC, Tjukurpa is used in at least Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, but Kokatha, further south, uses Tjukurr (I've probably spelt that wrong, but you get the idea: it's a similar word, not the same). As for languages and dialects, the distinction is cultural as much as anything else, and I understand "language" is the preferred usage among the Aboriginals who speak them no matter how great the differences between one language and another might be. ~J.K. 00:48, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
'Tjukurr' and 'Tjukurrpa' are really the same word--some WDL varieties don't like final consonants so they add the '-pa'. The word 'tjukurrpa' is also found in a few languages closely related to (or neighbours of) the WDL (e.g. Wajarri, Warlpiri) but certainly not many. My understanding is that 'the Dreaming' was the earlier term used for this concept and later on the term 'Dreamtime' gained currency. My own experience is that many Aboriginal people prefer the term 'dreaming' and find this a more appropriate translation of their own words for the concept. I would like to see that become the title of the article, with redirects from Dreamtime and Tjukurrpa, and perhaps an article (entitled something like) Indigenous Australian religion and mythology. Dougg 03:45, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I note the suggestion that this article be renamed with words including mythology. Isn't that offensive, and isn't it implicit in doing so that you brand the topic we're discussing fictitious? I wouldn't have thought that one would call Bible stories myths and rightfully claim culturally sensitivity... Sambo 07:16, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that Thebainer's suggestion above sounds sensible, and that there's a good argument for this present article claiming the most notable/widespread use of the term. Not that mythology itself is necessarily a belittling description- there's a recognised formal/academic use of the term which does not mean 'ficticious' or 'clearly false' (from the POV of some dominant culture). See for eg Religion and mythology.--cjllw | TALK 14:03, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • In further support of this idea, I note that just about every article currently with a link to Dreamtime intended to link to this one.--cjllw | TALK 14:07, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Support primary dab and move of current dab as per Thebainer and CJLL Wright--A Y Arktos\talk 19:55, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Sensitivity warning?[edit]

It should be noted that some of the things discussed in this article are considered restricted information. The information about spirit-babies is, in at least some places, supposed to only be known by women (and mature ones at that). I don't recall seeing any kind of sensitivity warning on any other article in Wikipedia, but I think it could be something worth using here. It only needs to say that the article contains information which some indigenous people might find offensive or inappropriate. What do others think? Is there a WP policy on this kind of thing? Dougg 04:29, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

"Wikipedia is not censored" would seem relevant, although I realise you're not proposing to censor the article. Rather you're proposing something along the lines of a spoiler warning.
This is a difficult one. I wouldn't oppose including a sensitivity warning provided that was the beginning and end of our efforts to protect indigenous Australian sensitivities. My concern is that once we take this action, it is only a very small step to removing or downgrading highly worthwhile but potentially offensive material, such as the painting at the top of article Yagan. I would most firmly oppose this. Snottygobble 04:41, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't necessarily support removing any information, but there's nothing wrong with something akin to a spoiler warning. --bainer (talk) 05:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
That's a good comparison and is exactly what I had in mind. It would involve no change to the information in the article and would, in fact, be an addition as it would inform not only indigenous people that there's sensitiive information ahead (that they may prefer to avoid), but also makes non-indigenous people aware that they should be cautious with how they use the information. Dougg 10:11, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Restored Deleted References[edit]

The references section at the end of the article was deleted. At first, I thought it was done on purpose, but when I found no discussion on the talk page about the deletion of the references, I realised that this has probably been done by someone from the IP address It appears that this is the same person who had appended the sentence "The girll named Heather........" at the end of the article. The reference section is now restored.

Savio mit electronics 21:55, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


The end of the intro has the claim that the Arrernte have a 'sky-god' called Altjira, and gives names for this 'god' in several other languages. I'd like to see a reference for this as I'm pretty sure it's incorrect. The word 'altjira' (usually spelled altyerre in one of the Arrernte orthographies), like the Western Desert word tjukurpa, means 'story' and is used as a name for the Dreaming. I don't believe it is the name of a 'god'. Dougg 00:32, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I have also seen Dreaming translated in Arrernte as Altjeringa. Does Tjukurpa work generally in Pama Nungan. What is it in Yolnyu?
John D. Croft 13:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


This page is basically a giant preamble, then gets to actual sections in the last 3/4. It should probably be broken up into relevant paragraphs for a better "Wikipedia" format.

--Alekjds 02:33, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree, the beginning is really too smushed together right now but I'm uncomfortable with large-scale formatting like that with articles on topics I'm unfamiliar with. --user.lain 17:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I also agree; the article needs a clearly defined lead sentence or paragraph and concise sections and formatting. I am currently working with the Wikify backlog from October 2006, but (as the user above commented) I am very uncomfortable making such a large change to such an unfamiliar and in-depth subject. The wikify process would not be too complicated with a general understanding of how to categorize all of the information. Hopefully another editor can assist. *Vendetta* (whois talk edits) 07:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)


Have there been any studies done on the Dreaming and Jung? I don't particularly want to get rid of that stubby bit there, but without anything to back it up it just looks like creeping OR.

Dreamtime ontology[edit]

someone knowledgeable on this subjects should look over the edits by Gamahucher to see if they are notable, as all of the edits by this user seem to be promoting some writer named Colin Leslie Dean and linking to his private press for sources. I am not familiar enough with the matter to tell whether these edits should be reverted, but I have done so in other fields. darkskyz 13:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

so the entry was deleted -I am outstounded It seems wikipedia is no more than a poor mans encyclopedia brittanica. It seem to be aligible for entry in wik you must first be in encyclopedia brittanica -so why not just go to encyclopedia brittanica . So much for open sourcing and internet democarcy Once again mainstream takes control of the net Wik may as well just get payed monkeys typing AUTHORATIVE articles so it can sell them to the highest bidder ie encyclopedia brittanica It seems all wik is is a watered down version of brittanica with articles which just reproduce briitanica written by amateurs who in effect just paraphrase more authorative sources —.People are running around wik deleting entries that mention mr dean ie case in point an entry about his ideas in Absurdism was just completly removed based only on it basicvally has no britanica entry-ie not s a so called notable. Also entries on dreamtime and Indigenous Australians have also been flaged for removal . It seems wikipedians may as well jus go to brittanica paraphrase that then past in wiki In regard to mainsteam articles like philosophy, absurdism, poetry,dreamtime, anti-poetry wiki will only put entryies in only if they are already in britanica Wik may as well just get payed monkeys typing AUTHORATIVE articles so it can sell them to the highest bidder ie encyclopedia brittanica It seems all wik is is a watered down version of brittanica with articles which just reproduce briitanica written by amateurs who in effect just paraphrase more authorative sources. Wik in fact just pillages other authorative sources it is a parisite feeding of others works -like brittanica. You say you want wik to be an accepted authorative encyclo but all it is realy is a poor man brittanica hobbled tgether from other authorative sources on the CHEAP so wik want have to pay money for anything. So wat has the future instore : wik going private bought up by google and all the entries then making some corporation heaps of money through adverstising or some other ingeneous way to use the wikpedians hard work etc. Just go read brittanica —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gamahucher (talkcontribs) 04:43, 11 March 2007

Funny that you use the same argumentation also on other pages, while your edits are also removed for the same reason on other pages: obvious self-promotion of your own articles. Could the removal perhaps be the result of the way you add your information, instead of the reasons you write above? I can understand that you are proud of your writings. But adding them yourself without any prior discussion on the discussion page can irritate people. I would suggest to start by investigating how the discussion pages may help when adding new information, especially when referring to your own work. Cheers. Didgeweb 06:28, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

For the love of God, somebody rewrite this[edit]

No clear introduction, full of jargon, impenetrable to all but learned experts. WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE KITTENS? -- 08:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, case in point:
In The Dreaming Everywhen of unbounded timelessness, these shapeshifting Totemic Spirit Beings (sometimes called Sky Heroes, or Creative Ancestors) :dream: dream of waking, waking in dream. Their dreamings are of their future waking pastimes, dreaming their past. Upon dreaming and waking these :shapeshifting Creative Spirit Beings transform into one another. The dreaming constitutes the seed-patterning (refer Guruwari), the archetypal :patterning, the 'dreamform' thoughtform of their future waking pastimes. Upon waking in play, they embody and manifest their dreamforms of animals, :plants, people, constellations, land features, elemental processes and natural phenomena and/or inanimate objects and their energetic existence is :revealed by their formative journeyings, their relationships and in their engaging archetypal pastimes. This formative manifestation of The Dreaming is :in turn a phantasmagoria and archetypal play of energy. This primordial formation in nonlocal timelessness is a temporal :and spatial confluence, a simultaneous happening: evocative dreamings, dreams within dreams, each dreaming the :other into being.
The Totemic Spirit Beings invest and merge their primordial archetypal essence-quality into all aspects of phenomenality; animate and inanimate.  :The totemic life spirit of human beings derives from these connections with the Spirit Beings and The Dreaming of the land. Therefore, each human being :may be considered an emanation of the primordial totemic Spirit Beings and their spirit invested in The Dreaming and totems of the land. At death, :the spirit returns to The Dreaming.
Sorry but none of that makes a blind bit of sense... even taking into account the fact it's trying to condense a complex system of belief, it still reads like an angsty teenagers failed experiment with stream of consciousness prose poetry. cornis 15:24, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Added short section to Origin belief[edit]

I added a very short description and link to the Origin_belief page. cornis 15:42, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Why isn't this article called "The Dreaming"?[edit]

This article itself states that "The Dreaming" is a synonym for "Dreamtime" and is culturally preferred by Indigenous Australian peoples. Furthermore it is a less misleading terms as it doesn't have "time" in the name which seems to cause a lot of confusion. And thirdly, this article uses the term "Dreaming" much more than "Dreamtime" to refer to the concept. Why not redirect from "Dreaming" to "The Dreamtime"? Bob.firth 00:14, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Merge with "Dreaming (spirituality)"?[edit]

Should this article be merged with "Dreaming (spirituality)"? They cover essentially the same material although this article seems to be in a much better shape. If they are two separate ideas, what should go where? I.e. what is the difference between Dreamtime and Dreaming under a two article scheme? Bob.firth 06:39, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly. Please, somebody create a merge discussion box and tag. Softlavender (talk) 02:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Can someone please tell me what language this term is, and also put it in the article. Thanks Enlil Ninlil 01:52, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Stated in Alcheringa (journal) to be Arrernte language (specifically Arunta), and also spelled alcheringa. The reference given is Strehlow, T.G.H., 1971, Songs of central Australia. See also Altjira, which is unreferenced. Pingku (talk) 15:18, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I was bothered by the significant absence in the article of any discussion of the reality of dreaming as a neuro-physiological event. Don Hardin (talk) 23:32, 13 September 2009 (UTC)Don Hardin 16:29, 13 September 2009

Various issues[edit]

Just skimming over this article, there are a few minor issues throughout the article. Use of capitals for generic terms, such as 'spirit beings', etc is the most obvious. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Religions, deities, philosophies, doctrines. There are also a few statements that incorrectly imply that all indigenous Australians subscribe to the traditional belief system.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:02, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Is this article itself written in Dreamtime mode?[edit]

Why is there no actual information? When was this term first recorded? Which language was it recorded in? Who reported it and on what authority? When did it become an item of pop culture and New Age fad? The article Australian Aboriginal mythology seems to claim this is simply a poetic term for what might otherwise be called "Australian Aboriginal mythology". So perhaps the pages should be merged? (I don't know because I have not researched this, and because the article doesn't even try to be informative. Instead it makes rambling assertions, interspersed with gems like "there are many Aboriginal cultures", which seems to say "yeah, we don't have a reference, but it doesn't matter because if we had one, it would just be a factoid from one of hundreds of Aboriginal cultures, and we don't want to be bogged down in actual ethnology, that would spoil the dreamy effect). --dab (𒁳) 08:19, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I went to google books and came up with a few illuminating references. I now think this article should be split between Australian Aboriginal mythology on one hand, and Dream time (popular culture) on the other, as the development of the concept in western (mostly US) pop culture deserves its own treatment. Apparently, apart from early references in the 1960s to 1970s, the concept exerted its main fascination in the 1980s and was seamlessly incorporated into the "noble savage" narrative which was mainstream in New Age and second-wave feminist spirituality. Things become in interesting in the 1990s, when the term was now known so widely, that it became a temptation for science fiction and and comic book writers, while still continuing its existence in New Age literature. In the 2000s, it seems that its novelty is worn out and authors start to try to come up with "authentic" depictions based on Australian mythology, while the manga and video games trivializations are of course still ongoing. To write an article on this development, of course secondary sources must be consulted, and these will be of the type of this study of the role of exoticism in US pop culture, so perhaps it would be better to widen the scope, as "Dreamtime" ends up just being one of many examples for the dynamic. --dab (𒁳) 10:12, 18 January 2015 (UTC)