USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘serpent’
Myths
Narrative

The Rainbow Serpent – Australia

So I’m from Australia, and the Aboriginals have stories about how Australia was formed. And these creation myths are called the Dreamtime stories.  One of the most recognized Dreamtime stories is that of the rainbow serpent.

He was all that existed before people and animals, as in the Dreamtime the whole earth was asleep, and all living creatures were sleeping under the earth’s surface.  But one day the Rainbow Serpent woke up and made her way onto the earth’s surface.  The serpent essentially traveled across Australia and formed the creeks and rivers, he formed Ayers Rock, the bends and twists in our land, all of which resulted from the path his body took.  Now he’s dead, and the only place you see him is in the sky as a rainbow, as he is the Rainbow Serpernt.

There’s a lot of different versions of this story I think, but I learned this one when I was 8 from an Aboriginal man.  I just think it’s an interesting part of Australia’s culture and heritage.  The Aboriginal people are really rarely recognized and they’re the ones that inhabited this land before us so I think all of their culture should be recognized.

Although Jaime is not an Aboriginal, she has a great respect for the Aboriginal people and their culture.  This is the second creation story I’ve collected for this project, and I’ve noticed that both of the creation stories, both from indigenous people, are animal-centered.  We discussed how this is very common in native cultures, as much of their religions and beliefs stem from animals and their spirits.

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