Gender in Australian Aboriginal Myths
The issue of the gender is always a shaky discussion. Throughout human history, there have been countless disputes over the issue of gender. And whenever gender is being discussed, it would be undeniable that women would be on the oppressed side. It would be surprising to discover that early societies like the Australian aboriginals had sorted out the issue of gender better than modern societies.
The Australian aboriginals had expressed their view on the issue of gender through “dreamtime.” Dreamtime is the term used to refer to the Australia’s indigenous people’s traditions, mythology, and folklore. “The Dreamtime” is also their version of the creation theory. In some of their creation stories, specifically “the Tiwi”, almost all characters involved are all women. In this particular creation story, it is a woman who had created the land’s first inhabitants. (Dean)
Similar to our society, senior males were elected as tribe elders in early Australian aboriginal societies. But what is remarkable in their societal structure is that the women played equally important roles. During the prevalence of dreamtime, the women were also appointed to perform important task such as in law, ceremonies, and rituals. Just like men, women are also gathering food.
But probably the most important role of women in Australian aboriginal societies is that they are story-tellers. Women had played a significant part in continuing the tradition of their culture, particularly dreamtime.
Australian Aboriginals. Retrieved 8 June 2008 < http://www.crystalinks.com/aboriginals.html>
Dean, Colin. The Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime. Retrieved 8 June 2008 <