Dreamtime – Story of the Suns Origin

Aboriginal Art

Some Aboriginal tribes believe Yhi is the spirit of the sun, the mother who initiated creation. She worked through her representative Baiame (amongst many names and spellings) the Spirit Father. Baiame was given the task of forming and caring for animal life in its infinite variety. Baiaime and Yhi acted together gathering the fragments of the spirit of man from their animal hosts and joining them in to one whole.

The following is a story of "creation" from the Karraru Tribe:

"Once the earth was completely dark and silent; nothing moved on the surface. Inside a cave below the Nullabor Plain slept a woman, the Sun. Baiame woke her and told her to emerge from her cave and stir the universe into life. As the Sun Mother opened her eyes the darkness disappeared as her rays spread over the land; she took a breath and the air gently moved as a small breeze blew.

The Sun Mother then travelled from east to west and from north to south. She crossed the barren land and wherever her rays touched the earth, plants grew until the land was covered with vegetation. In each of the deep caves in the earth, the Sun found animals, which had also been sleeping forever. She woke them all and told them to spread through the land. The snakes, lizards and many other reptiles slithered out of their deep holes. Behind the snakes mighty rivers flowed, full of fish and water life. The Sun Mother then made the seasons so that from time to time the days would change from wet to dry and from hot to cold. Then as the animals watched she travelled far to the west and sank from the view and darkness spread across the land once more. The animals were very frightened. Later the sky began to glow on the horizon in the east and the sun rose smiling into the sky again. By doing this, the Sun Mother provided a period of rest for all her creatures by making this journey each day."

The Morning Star is the son of the Sun Mother and moon is his wife. The children of the Morning Star and the moon were the ancestors of the Aboriginals today.

Depending on where you are in Australia there are various Dreamtime stories relating to the sun and her origin. The following is one from the Wotjobaluk Tribe of Northern Victoria:

"Gnowee the sun was once a woman who lived upon the earth, when it was dark all the time, and the people had to walk about with the aid of bark torches.

One day she left her little boy asleep while she went our to dig roots for food. Yams were scarce and Gnowee wandered so far that she reached the end of the earth and continuing her wandering she passed under it and came up on the other side.

Not knowing where she was, as it was dark, she could not find her little boy anywhere so she went into the sky carrying her great bark torch and still wanders across it and then travels under the earth looking for him."

The Australian aboriginals are not alone in having stories relating the sun's significance to their beliefs and their world - every culture has recorded stories, which have been passed from one generation to the next either orally or in literary writings.

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