White people ask us all the time, what is Dreaming? This is a hard question because Dreaming is a really big thing for Aboriginal people. In our language, Yanyuwa, we call the Dreaming Yijan. The Dreamings made our Law or narnu-Yuwa. This Law is the way we live, our rules. This Law is our ceremonies, our songs, our stories; all of these things came from the Dreaming. One thing that I can tell you though is that our Law is not like European Law which is always changing ~ new government, new laws; but our Law cannot change, we did not make it. The Law was made by the Dreamings many, many years ago and givento our ancestors and they gave it to us.
The Dreamings are our ancestors, no matter if they are fish, birds, men, women, animals, wind or rain. It was these Dreamings that made our Law. All things in our country have Law, they have ceremony and song, and they have people who are related to them …
The Dreamings named all of the country and the sea as they travelled,they named everything that they saw. As the Dreamings travelled they put spirit children over the country, we call these spirit children ardirri. It is because of these spirit children that we are born, the spirit children are on the country, and we are born from the country.
In our ceremonies we wear marks on our bodies, they come from the Dreaming too, we carry the design that the Dreamings gave to us. When we wear that Dreaming mark we are carrying the country, we are keeping the Dreaming held up, we are keeping the country and the Dreaming alive. That is the most important thing, we have to keep up the country, the Dreamings, our Law, our people, it can’t change. Our Law has been handed on from generation to generation and it is our job to keep it going, to keep it safe.
(c) Mussolini Harvey