Ancient Australian creation myths of the Rainbow Serpent can be traced both in art and oral narration, the myths differ slightly from one region to another. However, all the stories share a common thread; the fundamental role of water in nature’s cycle of growth and regeneration. Fertility, drought and flood are all aspects of nature that resonate with the human condition, and all are inextricably linked to that precious commodity.
The mythology of the Rainbow Serpent plays an important part in the harmonious coming together of different Aboriginal clans. All of the elements of cultural life played a role in helping to maintain peaceful coexistence between clans, and respect for both the natural environment and mankind, with its complex history and customs.
The story of the Rainbow Serpent, with its emphasis on the preciousness of water to the cycle of life, is very relevant in today’s climate. With rapid climate change impelling us to look closely at the way we relate to each other and to the environment, both now and into the future, this ancient myth is a reminder of our inheritance, our purpose and perhaps even our duty.
The Rainbow Serpent is a video clip from the documentary series and website First Australians produced in 2008 by Blackfella Films for SBS Television. First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia as never told before, from the perspective of its first people. First Australians explores what unfolds when the oldest living culture in the world is overrun by the world’s greatest empire……enjoy this small extract.
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