Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Great Ancestor Spirit - Southeastern Australia   

Throughout New South Wales and Victoria there was a common belief in a great All-Father, a supreme being, like a male god, known by different names in different areas. The most common name in Victoria was Bunjil and in New South Wales, as Baiame or Dhurramulan. The Great Spirit Father or Great All-Father, is credited with creating most of the environment and with giving the Aboriginal people their laws and culture. He is often believed to have lived on the Earth, before rising to the sky from which he can watch over the events of the Earth. The people of southeastern Australia believed he returned to Earth during the Bora, or initiation ceremonies, his voice being the sound of the bullroarer that warns women and children to stay away from the ceremonies. Baiame has 2 wives and a number of sons. He is said to be a supernatural being who is omnipotent and see everything that happens.

The term All Father was used by Howitt (1904), who suggested that all the names used by various tribes of southeast Australia for a male supreme ancestral being were referring to the same being. These names are Nurrundere (Ngurunderi), Nurelli (Nepele), Bunjil, Mungan-ngaua, Daramulun (Dhurramulan), and Baiame (Baiami).


Sources & Further reading

  1. Jennifer Isaacs, Australian Dreaming: 40,000 years of Aboriginal History, New Holland Publishers, 2005
  2. R. M & C. H. Berndt, The World of the First Australians, Ure Smith Pty Ltd, 1964


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 30/09/2011

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