Friday, September 24, 2004

Australian Mythology

Once again I have readers asking for "real" Australian stories. Not the childrens' stories of 'how the frog caused the flood' but "real" stories.

I must explain that I'm non-indigeneous and only came to this country in 1842. Like just about every other Australian who came here in those times, my family had no choice in the matter, and if they had been given one, would have knocked it back faster than a rat up a drainpipe. I'm sure the twelve year old James, lash-marks and all, would have preferred Ireland, as would the 17 year old Mary who survived the Great Hunger in the midst of plenty (lest we forget). The inhabitants of South Uist, whose lives meant literally nothing compared to English sheep, didn't want to come here either.

I can write on the legends and lore of Europe, I spent years studying them, and I can wander through Celtic myths for they are in my very bones... but Aboriginal Lore is Aboriginal Law, and I have no right.

Legends and Lore

Legends and Lore includes all myths, legends, folk tales, ballads, riddles, proverbs and superstitions, an ideological manifestation of human creativity. Like other elements of human culture, mythology is not the creation of chance.

Legends and Lore of different times represent the thoughts, ideas, mental state, traditions, manners and customs, wit and wisdom of the people of that time. Apart from their entertainment value, they provide an insight into the present and past traditions and culture of a particular region