Ancestral Power

Ancestral Power

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Aboriginal people from different areas of Australia have expressed the idea of ancestral presence as a kind of power that is present in land, certain paintings, some dance performances, songs, blood and ceremonial objects. This complex Aboriginal concept is translated into English as The Dreaming, or The Dreamtime. In Ancestral Power, Lynne Hume looks at the extent to which aspects of the Dreaming may have been linked to experiences in altered states of consciousness. Did Aboriginal people ever employ techniques for entering such states? Could the Dreaming have been based on, among other things, the interface between culture, environment and altered states of consciousness? With these questions in mind, she examines the existing literature on Aboriginal cosmology and practices, together with studies of Aboriginal art, data from anthropologists and ethnomusicologists, and statements by Aboriginal people from many different regional areas of Australia. Ancestral Power suggests that Aboriginal spirituality is much more complex and compelling than the early missionaries could ever have imagined.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 210 pages
  • 165 x 234 x 18mm | 385.55g
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • English
  • 052285012X
  • 9780522850123

About Lynne Hume

Dr. Lynne Hume has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Queensland and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Studies in Religion at the University of Queensland. She has travelled widely and carried out fieldwork in Australia, Vanuatu and Canada. She is the author of Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia, published by MUP (1997).
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