Where there is a will there is a way

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sun Mother Wakes the World - an Australian Creation story. (Children's picture book.)

ADAPTED BY Diane Wolkstein    PICTURES BY Bronwyn Bancroft


The Sun Mother is awakened and comes down to the Earth.  The earth is still, with no colour, movement, or life.

Everywhere she goes, life flows after her - she goes into caves and wakes up life, which is reluctant to wake up until they see beautiful Sun Mother.  First the insects, then the lizards, frogs, snakes and fish, and in the coldest darkest cave the birds and animals.  (That makes sense to me, as it's a deeper pull from creation...) 

From the story:   

As Sun Mother entered the first dark cave, it was flooded with light. Witchetty grubs, beetles, and caterpillars cried, "Kkkkt! Why do you wake us?:

But when the crawling creatures opened their eyes and saw the beauty of Sun Mother, they followed her out of the cave. Insects of every colour and shape appeared, and the earth became more beautiful.

From the story:   

After resting, Sun Mother said, "My children, I woke you as a seed is woken in the spring.  Now that you are awake, I can return to my home in the sky."

Then, she returns to her place in the sky, and it is completely dark again.  The living creatures are all afraid for awhile - until they see her in the sky.  They soon realize she will come back, again and again in the sky.  But then they start to grumble, they aren't just content with life.  Sun Mother comes back and gives them another chance to change their forms.  They choose claws, or beaks, long legs for running...(platypus can't decide so chooses everything).  

I time Sun Mother gives birth to a daughter, Moon, and a son, Morning Star, to give the creatures light.  They give birth to twins - the first man and woman.

From the story:  

"Welcome, welcome!" Sun Mother said the first woman and the first man. "All around you are you relations - the grass, the hills, the water, the wine, and the animals. This is their place. Now it is yours too. Wherever you go, always return to look after your birthplace.

"Care for the land for the sake of your grandparents as well as for your children and grandchildren.  I travelled every step of the earth and it is now alive.  Just as I will visit the eath each morning, so you too must walk the land to keep it alive.

Then Sun Mother returns to the sky, continuing to keep her promise, bringing light to the Earth.

.... .-. ....

I always want to know how humans originally thought and saw the world, before modernization.  Before we lost our way as a people.

Ever since I heard of  "Dreaming", in Australian aboriginal culture, I've been fascinated and wanted to know what it meant. 

Recently, I got a children's picture book out of the library to read to the kids, Sun Mother Wakes the World.  Before the story, there is a description of Dreaming, and Dreamtime in it!

Diane Wolkstein in Sun Mother Wakes the World:
"The indigenous people of Australia believe that their first ancestors created the world and its laws.  They also believe that the world is still being created, and they call this continual process of creation The Dreamtime.  In order to enter into creation - past, present, and future - the people perform ceremonies during which they describe the Dreamtime in paintings, dances, songs and stories.

"Just as each of their ancestors appeared on earth in a certain place, which is called their Dreaming, so too the place where each person is born is called his or her Dreaming.  The birthplaces of the ancestors and the people living on earth are considered sacred.  Some people go on journeys (walkabouts) to look for their own birthplaces and the birthplaces of their ancestors.  On such occasions, they perform ceremonies to renew themselves and to keep the earth alive."

.... .-. ....

 About the illustrator (from her bio from an online bookstore):

Bronwyn Bancroft, a descendant of the Bundjalung tribe of northern New South Wales, is considered to be an important artistic spokesperson for her people. Her work has been represented in many galleries and collections throughout the world.

 She also illustrated Kun-Man-Gur: the Rainbow Serpent, which I had already discovered, and loved.

1 comment:

Phil Kostar said...

Very intresting;
thank you