Stories of the Dreaming


Reviewed by Jill Jones. This amazing site has been put together by the Australian National Museum and it contains Aboriginal stories.   The “dreaming” refers to “time before time” or the time before creation.  You can listen to the stories or read them and from here link to the Dreamtime Australia site which contains more stories, information about Aboriginal tellers, and a place for children to post reactions to the stories.  One of the things I liked about this site is they explain the tradition of storytelling in Aboriginal cultures.  They also say that the stories are copyrighted either by the performer or the culture, and they don’t give anyone permission to use the stories.  Whether or not they can enforce this is a good question.  They also only include stories that are suitable for general telling and don’t include any sacred stories on the site.  It is very obvious that they have worked with the different Aboriginal cultures and are sensitive to their concerns.  It also includes a glossary to define Aboriginal words. The only negative part, and this is a small criticism, is that the text is white on black and is a little difficult to read.  Beyond the great stories you can find here, this site is very informative about Aborigine cultures. 

Reviewed by Tammy Scarbrough. This website is a collaboration between Australia's Cultural Network and the Australian Museum. Web manager, Peter Firminger, maintains the site. The site's validity comes from its affiliation with the Australian Museum. The museum was established in 1827 and is located in Sydney. Contact information is provided on the museum's main web page. This information includes the physical address, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers.
The site is very well organized and links are clearly marked. In addition to the stories themselves, information is included that explains what the Dreamtime is and its importance to the indigenous people of Australia. The issues of custodianship, sacred stories and copyright are also addressed. The creators of this site make it very clear that permission must be obtained in order for these stories to be used in any way - oral or written. The site contains twenty stories dealing with the myths and legends of Australia's indigenous population. Each story has a summary, and lists the narrator/storyteller, technical people, and producers when applicable. The length of the story is also given. Viewers have the option of viewing the text version or listening to the audio version of the story. Videos are also available if your computer meets the technical requirements.
While there does not appear to be any bias in this site it is dedicated exclusively to Australian indigenous stories. There was no evidence of any updates but all the links were working and the museum's official website, which supports this site, has a 2001 copyright date. The site also provides information for kids and teachers. The information for kids includes fact sheets, a dictionary, and an explanation of how to find information on the site. The teacher's section highlights issues about teaching Indigenous studies and contains resources to help in planning and programming.