Songlines of the Australian Aborigals

A fabulous post from Raili.

soulgifts - Telling Tales


“…the labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over Australia and are known to Europeans as ‘Dreaming-tracks’ or ‘Songlines’; to the Aboriginals as the ‘Footprints of the Ancestors’ or the ‘Way of the Lore’.  This is Bruce Chatwin’s description of songlines.  It is a delightful blend of travel log, fiction and non-fiction.

When a song is sung in the proper sequence, the indigenous Australians are able to navigate huge distances. Australia is criss-crossed by songlines, some of them hundreds of kilometres long. They traverse through lands of many different tribes with different languages,  cultural traditions, totems. The song transfers from one tribe to another seamlessly through the  rhythm of the song. In effect the songs are a map of the land, the sacred sites, spiritual traditions and creation.

In Echoes of Dreamtime I wrote about Australian Aboriginal artwork. The authentic paintings are the visual evidence of Songlines…

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