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Myths of Aboriginal Australia: Rainbow Snakes and Song-Lines

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Description

The entire continent of Australia was once criss-crossed by song lines, elaborate myths and ritual re-enactments binding people together over vast distances. Presiding over everything was an 'All-Mother' who was simultaneously a rainbow and a snake -- the gender-ambivalent Rainbow Snake. In Australia, a local version of her story would be bound up inseparably with waterholes, boulders and other prominent features of the landscape; recounting the Rainbow Snake's adventures meant following the tracks left by her and her children, sometimes over hundreds of miles. This talk explores the underlying structures of kinship, marriage and ritual action which tie all these stories together.


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