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The legend of the seven sisters and the songlines


In the Australian Aboriginal mythology of the Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australian state of Victoria, the Karatgurk were seven sisters who represented the constellation known in western astronomy as the Pleiades.



According to a legend told by the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, in the Dreamtime the Karatgurk alone possessed the secret of fire. Each one carried a live coal on the end of her digging stick, allowing them to cook the yams (murnong) which they dug out of the ground. The sisters refused to share their coals with anybody, however they were ultimately tricked into giving up their secret by Crow.

After burying a number of snakes in an ant mound, Crow called the Karatgurk women over, telling them that he had discovered ant larvae which were tastier than yams. The women began digging, angering the snakes, which attacked. Shrieking, the sisters struck the snakes with their digging sticks, hitting them with such force that the live coals flew off. Crow, who had been waiting for this, gathered the coals up and hid them in a kangaroo skin bag. The women soon discovered the theft and chased him, but the bird simply flew out of their reach, and thus fire was brought to mankind.

Afterwards, the Karatgurk sisters were swept into the sky. Their glowing fire sticks became the Pleiades star cluster.


The dreamtime

The “Dreamtime” refers to the era before the creation of the Earth, a period when everything was only spiritual and immaterial. According to the aborigines the dream time still exists and can be reached for spiritual needs. Through the time of the dream, it would be possible to communicate with the spirits and to decipher the meaning of bad omens, illnesses and other misfortunes.

Who are the Aborigines? And where do they come from?

it is necessary to project more than 60,000 years back: the sea level of our current Oceania is quite low, which allows the populations of Southeast Asia to travel as far as Australia. And it is this first people to set foot on the Australian plains that we now call the Aboriginal people, the only people to inhabit this giant island until the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century, which disrupted their territories.



Why Songlines Are Important In Aboriginal Art ?

They are the long Creation story lines that cross the country and put all geographical and sacred sites into place in Aboriginal culture

Songlines contain information about the land and how the traveller should respectfully make their trip. This includes the types of food were safe to eat, places to be avoided and the boundaries of each Mob’s Country that the traveller could pass through.

But…Certain Songlines were forged by the great Creator Spirits of the Dreaming. These special Songlines have ancestral stories attached to them…..


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The legend of the seven sisters and the songlines