Konkurs realioznawczy - The Rainbow Serpent
The Rainbow Serpent legend is based on a traditional Aboriginal Dreamtime tale of how the Earth was transformed, and how mountains, rivers and all the beautiful animals came into being. The Dreaming, or Dreamtime, is a term describing the religious beliefs of Australian Aboriginal people, and it refers to the time when the Earth was created.
According to the legend, in the beginning the Earth was flat and it was inhabited by powerful Ancestral Beings with supernatural abilities. One day, a beautiful rainbow coloured snake awoke from its sleep. Known as the Rainbow Serpent, it was one of the most powerful Ancestral Beings of Aboriginal Australia.
The serpent travelled across the land, and as it moved its body, it transformed the flat terrain into beautiful landscapes. It also created long, winding rivers, making it possible for plants to grow and new animals to thrive.
At last, when it grew tired with the effort of shaping the Earth, the Rainbow Serpent crawled into a waterhole where it lay in the cool water. It only came out after heavy rainstorms when its waterhole was disturbed and when the sun touched its colourful body. Then it rose up from the waterhole and travelled over the treetops, up through the clouds and across the plain to another waterhole. Aboriginal people believe that rainbows are the serpent moving from one watering hole to the next, filling waterholes around the country with fresh water.
The Rainbow Serpent Dreamtime Story is one of the most well-known Aboriginal myths, and it continues to have an important place in Australian society today. Rock art featuring this mythical creature dates as far back as 6,000 years, making it one of the oldest religious beliefs in the world.