Teacher background information
The ‘Dreaming’ is a non-Aboriginal word used to refer to the time of creation with each language group having its own word for the ‘Dreaming’. The ‘Dreamtime’ or ‘Dreaming’, establishes values, symbols, patterns of life, relationships, and laws of Aboriginal Culture and society, to be passed down from generation to generation.
Throughout Australia, Dreaming stories, which vary from language group to language group, cover a vast range of themes and topics including:
- how the land and heavens, and their features and creatures, were formed
- people’s and animal’s behaviours
- traditional law
- spiritual beliefs
- necessary skills to survive on the land.
The purpose of these Dreaming stories is to teach young children about their Culture, and to abide by lessons learned from their forefathers .
Each language group has their own Dreaming stories. Many different language groups’ stories focus on the same themes and involve similar characters, that may have different names. In this instance, Tiddalik the Frog, is known in another story, as Molok the Thirsty Frog. Tiddalik the Frog, is said to have originally been told in south-eastern Victoria, by people from the Gunai, and Bunurong nations.
The story is reputed to describe the water-holding frog: Cylorana platycephala. These frogs burrow and stay underground during dry periods. They emerge during the rain to absorb large amounts of water, breed and feed. They are used by Aboriginal Australians during times of drought as a water source. This is relevant today for lessons about water conservation.