SPEAKING LAND Myth and Story in Aboriginal Australia Ronald M. Berndt and Catherine H. Berndt
The 195 stories collected in this first anthology of Aboriginal myth were told to anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt, who spent nearly fifty years working among the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
The Berndts developed a system of field research that allowed them entrance into a culture that has been alive for more than 100,000 years: Ronald Berndt met with male storytellers, while Catherine met with the women. The myths they collected come from the oldest collective memory of humankind, describing characters and events of the "Dreamtime"--a time that existed before the material world was formed.
The Speaking Land touches on all aspects of life: creation, natural forces, social rules, and the exotic. Stark, tinged with fantasy, sometimes bizarre, the myths chronicle the actions of the Ancestors, portraying not only beauty and wonder but also scenes of conflict: treachery and theft, jealousy and lust, greed and antagonism, injury and death. The lessons of life implicit in these stories are still reflected in the simplicity and deep spirituality of this culture.
In all of the myths collected here the land is as important as the living characters who travel it. In the Dreamtime creation, mythic, shape-changing characters moved across the countryside, leaving part of their eternal spiritual qualities in the land. Eventually, these characters and forces retreated into the living environment, where they remain today, spiritually anchored. The land still speaks to us, and The Speaking Land will help us understand its language.
VOICES OF THE FIRST DAY Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime Robert Lawlor
Australian aboriginal people have lived in harmony with the earth for perhaps as long as 100,000 years; in their words, since the First Day. In this absorbing work, Lawlor explores the essence of their culture as a source of and guide to transforming our own world view. While not romanticizing the past or suggesting a return to the life of the hunter/gatherer, VOICES OF THE FIRST DAY enables us to enter into the mentality of the oldest continuous culture on earth and gain insight into our own relationship with the earth and to each other.
This book offers an opportunity to suspend our values, prejudices, and Eurocentrism and step into the Dreaming to discover:
• A people who rejected agriculture, architecture, writing, clothing, and the subjugation of animals
• A lifestyle of hunting and gathering that provided abundant food of unsurpassed nutritional value
• Initiatic and ritual practices that hold the origins of all esoteric, yogic, magical, and shamanistic traditions
• A sexual and emotional life that afforded diversity and fluidity as well as marital and social stability
• A people who valued kinship, community, and the law of the Dreamtime as their greatest "possessions."
• Language whose richness of structure and vocabulary reveals new worlds of perception and comprehension.
• A people balanced between the Dreaming and the perceivable world, in harmony with all species and living each day as the First Day.
VOICES OF THE FIRST DAY is illustrated throughout with more than 100 extraordinary photographs, bark paintings, line drawings and engravings. Many of these photographs are among the earliest ever made of the Aboriginal people and are shown here for the first time.
This treasure-house of Hawaiian wisdom illustrated with amazing photographs comprises interviews with 24 Hawaiian elders or kahuna. Through these interviewees we are taken on a guided tour of those disciplines talents and skills which are enshrined in Hawaiian culture. These qualities and the people who describe them have been instrumental in the cultural renaissance that has awakened the spirit of Hawaii in recent decades. In VOICES OF WISDOM we learn about: ¨ Lanakila Brandt - a priest of Lono who has lifted death curses placed by black magic sorcerers. ¨ Lydia Mai'ho - the keeper of the bones. A woman descended from great chiefs whose family have long been caretakers of the Hawaiian royal family's bones. ¨ Pualani Van Dorpe - an artist who single-handedly revived kapa making an ancient art using bark cloth that had been neglected for over a century. VOICES OF WISDOM celebrates living and powerful men and women in a way that allows readers to weave the profound lessons of the island elders into their own lives.