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The Dreaming

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Part II | Australia | The Dreaming


A Giant Salamander crawls onto the land from the sea

and is met by a Red Crab leaving the forest.

Stories of the Dreaming

A sudden flash of lightning lit up the night sky and allowed the Archer enough light to pierce the crab's heart. The salamander crawled off into the forest to find shelter. while the Archer retrieved the arrow, pulled it out of the crab's heart and aimed it at a Heron flying through the forest.

None of the hundreds of Aboriginal languages contain a word for time.

The Dreamtime Sisters


A labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over Australia and are known to Europeans as "Dreaming-tracks" or "Songlines;" to the Aboriginals as the "Footprints of the Ancestors" or the "Way of the Law." Aboriginal creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path - birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes - and so singing the world into existence.

- The Songlines Bruce Chatwin (1988)


The Giant Salamander crawled out of the blue sea and onto the forested land that met the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. The forest was filled with green trees that offered a moist, cool breeze. A stark contrast from the hot, blazing sun overhead the salamander had encountered along its watery journey to the coast of Western Australia. The Giant Salamander left a huge paw print in the soil of the forested coastline and disappeared from sight. Many thousands of years later, an Australian Aboriginal painted a picture of the Giant Salamander's paw print on a rock cave nearby. When the painter's children asked him what happened to the rest of the Salamander, the story he told was this:

The Story of the Salamander Cave In Central Asia, an old man decided to hide his chalice in a special cave he found that reminded him of his own family and where he had come from. He called it "The Salamander's Cave." When his daughter asked him why he chose the Salamander Cave, he said the cave was a special place because a piece of him had been left behind there. His daughter did not understand and so one day she went to see the Salamander Cave for herself.

She went into the cave, but did not see anything that reminded her of her father. She walked out of the cave and still did not see anything that reminded her of her father. Finally, she looked up and saw the head of a Giant Salamander preserved high above the cave's entrance, as if carefully etched in the red stone by an ancient artist in the sky, left behind for us to see.


[1] Rock Art ~ Painted Hand Motif


[2] The Dreaming


[3] The Dreamtime Sisters


[4] Bush Medicine Leaves

[5] The Sharing Stories Foundation ~ "The Frog and the Brolga" Dec 2020

The Frog and Brolga, are Creation Ancestors for the Gija mob who through an event at Gawarre (Bungle Bungles), brought into being the Gija landscape, plants, animals and the Gija people. The interactive multi-touch book follows cultural protocols, with all viewers, who are first welcomed to Country, before knowledge is shared by the storyteller and the community. The spoken and written, bilingual story includes stunning artwork, design and animations developed by Gija young people from Purnululu School. To complete the experience, the multi-touch book also includes an interactive map of Gawarre (Bungle Bungles), with several short films describing Country and cultural significance as well as many voices of the community, each sharing personal feelings about culture and the Frog and Brolga story.

The Frog and the Brolga

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