ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA ART & CULTURE
CENTRE - ALICE SPRINGS
100% Aboriginal owned & operated
Aboriginal ceremonies (known to most people as corroborees) are dramatic
representations, in mime and song, of the mythical history of the
tribe. These ceremonies have many functions and take many forms.
There are the non-secret rituals performed in the camp at night, before
an enthusiastic audience of men, women and children. A group of adult
men, seated around a small fire, will chant one or another of the
ancient songs, while others, their bodies decorated with strange symbols,
portray , in a series of spectacular dances, the incidents in the
The ceremonies of the youths, at which no fully adult
male or any women are present, are the most important to the participants.
In these, the young actors, their bodies decorated with the creature
they represent, mime the episodes of their creation during mythical
times. These rituals, many of them of considerable beauty, are the
youth's first step toward their integration into the life and responsibilities
of the men.
Nothing is neglected in these ceremonies to teach the youths the
rules and philosophy of the tribe and the obligations that accompany
them; trials of fortitude and the air of secrecy that surrounds
every phase of the rituals are designed so to impress the youths
that neither the rituals, nor their associated meanings, will ever
be forgotten. They will guide his behaviour as long as he lives.