Ceremony is an integral part of our culture. There are ceremonies for everything including coming of age, marriage, birth and death.
Ceremonies have many rules and guidelines that must be followed otherwise you are breaking Lore which can have harsh punishments. Unfortunately, many of our traditional ceremonies have been taken from us as a result of invasion and colonisation and due to this many people may never go through ceremony.
As we gain more insight in to our way of life before colonisation and as we continue to fight for our right to practice our culture, many ceremonies are being re-awakened and practised – sometimes for the first time in centuries. This is a big step forward in the survival of our culture.
For as long as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture has existed there have been rules and protocols in place for welcoming visitors to Country and acknowledging the Country of others.
Central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is the separation of men’s and women’s business.
A Smoking is an important part of any ceremony and can also be performed as its own ceremony. Usually at the beginning of a ceremony it accompanies a Welcome and assists in cleansing the area and the people of bad spirits and to promote the protection and well-being of visitors.
Dance is an important part of ceremony. Aboriginal culture is a predominantly oral culture – before colonisation there was no written language, so all knowledge was passed on and taught via stories, song and dance.