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Quiz about Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Legends
Quiz about Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Legends

Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Legends Quiz


The Ngiyaampaa Nation's aboriginal people of northern Australia have many beautiful legends about their Dreamtime and the Dreaming, and how the world was created. These are ten of these legends for your enjoyment.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
367,076
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1176
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: rohnald (5/10), Guest 110 (7/10), Guest 60 (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. At the beginning of everything in the legends of the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia was the Dreaming, and the creatures dwelling there who were all brought to life by the power of the Wandjina. In which part of the far northern area of the country do they believe this creator dwells? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. When each creator spirit completed the earthly task it was assigned, the Ngiyaampaa people of Australia believe it then turned itself into which artistic object? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. What particularly fascinating and physiologically necessary fact about the creation of the earth do the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia believe? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Another rare belief associated with the spirits who created the world is that sometimes their spirits leave the caves or waterholes where they dwell. The Australian Ngiyaampaa people believe they then do what? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Droughts and floods and other devastating forces of nature which assaulted the landscape of the ancient Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia were believed to have been caused by the breaking of which taboo? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The Ngiyaampaa people of Australia often depicted the faces of the images of their creator spirits and guides without which communicative facial features? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. This could make you hop around in delight. What do Australia's Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people believe caused the hills to be formed on the land? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. One of the Dreaming legends of the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia tell of a certain water dwelling creature found in the dry heart of the land. As it was being cooked on a fire one day, it escaped and flew up to the sky to become the moon. What was that creature? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What is the legend behind the birth of the sun believed by the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Another lovely legend of Australia's Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people involves the creation of the winding rivers on the land. Which animal is most associated with this? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. At the beginning of everything in the legends of the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia was the Dreaming, and the creatures dwelling there who were all brought to life by the power of the Wandjina. In which part of the far northern area of the country do they believe this creator dwells?

Answer: The Kimberleys

The Kimberley region of Australia is a large isolated area in the far northwestern side of the country. Some 430,000 square kilometres in size, it is mysterious, brooding, and filled with steep, dangerous, echoing ranges and rivers that disappear into the mountains. Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains are in the south of the nation while the Great Barrier Reef runs down the eastern half of the continent.

The Dreaming and the Dreamtime are difficult terms to explain to non-aboriginal people. They are sacred, esoteric and deeply spiritual experiences which somehow link the soul and the being of the country's original inhabitants into the one embracing whole, completely interwoven within the land itself. It is believed by the Ngiyaampaa that Wandjina, who dwells in the forbidding lands of the Kimberley, made everything. He gave the earth to man in which to live, to treat with respect and honour, and to obey his ageless laws. He is one but many, and perhaps could be likened to the western world's concept of God and his angels, or the Blessed Trinity with its concept of three single entities dwelling within the one encompassing body.
2. When each creator spirit completed the earthly task it was assigned, the Ngiyaampaa people of Australia believe it then turned itself into which artistic object?

Answer: A rock face image

This is why ancient caves and their paintings in those traditional aboriginal lands still unassailed by European intruders are considered to be so very sacred to the Ngiyaampaa nation's people. It is believed that not only are the spirits represented in their self-portraits, but that they still dwell in their individual caves or in nearby waterholes. With no other tools at their disposal, the traditional people of this country honoured other images of their guiding spirits by painting them, with their fingers and small sticks, in the colours and clays of the earth, onto the permanence of wall caves. To them, they are holy shrines dedicated to the creators of their world.
3. What particularly fascinating and physiologically necessary fact about the creation of the earth do the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia believe?

Answer: The earth breathes

Though much of the language of the varying aboriginal nations within the country differs widely over the four hundred or so groups that are known to exist, there are enough similarities between the legends, particularly those of the creation, to be rather startling. One common to most aboriginal nations in Australia, including the Ngiyaampaa, is the belief that the land actually lives and breathes as we do. What a lovely thought.

It is also believed that the earth is naturally hot in this country, and as it breathes in and out, the steam from its warm breath gives rain to the clouds overhead. With that rain comes every growing thing on the land to feed the created animals, fish and birds, and mankind itself. And so the endless beautiful cycle continues.
4. Another rare belief associated with the spirits who created the world is that sometimes their spirits leave the caves or waterholes where they dwell. The Australian Ngiyaampaa people believe they then do what?

Answer: Become reborn into a human child

This doesn't happen very often, but every now and then it is believed by the Ngiyaampaa that one of the Dreamtime spirits will allow itself to be reincarnated into the body of a new born child. Australian aboriginal people honour their ancestors and their heroic deeds with a deep and mystical veneration. An honoured few of these are considered to have been the reborn soul of the major spirit himself. Aboriginal people believe that all their bestowed skills, and their very essences, are gifts given to them by their gods, in an endless recycling of life following life, but bound up always in the earth and all the spirits of nature all around.

To think that a major spirit once walked among them would have exactly the same impact on aboriginal people as the Christian belief of the wider world in the spirit of Jesus being born into the body of man. On the death of the person who was believed to have been one of these great figures, his spirit returned back to his holy dwelling place in the mountains until it was time to reappear once more.
5. Droughts and floods and other devastating forces of nature which assaulted the landscape of the ancient Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia were believed to have been caused by the breaking of which taboo?

Answer: Entering sacred grounds without permission

If anyone, or any group, has been given the very real honour of being allowed to approach a Ngiyaampaa cave painting, or any other area of land considered to be sacred, the correct procedure is for the aboriginal elder leading the group or individual to call out from a respectful distance of several yards from the mouth of the cave. This is to make the denizens of the caves aware of human presence nearby, and to be assured that no harm will be done to their dwelling places. Only certain people have the right to approach these areas. To trespass without that permission is akin to sacrilege and very distressing to the local aboriginal inhabitants who hold these caves of their creators in such high esteem.

The very existence of aboriginal people with their close dependence on the land was continually at threat in our wide brown land, by either droughts, floods or other raging forces of nature gone wild. Such events could be held at bay by treating the dwelling places of the spirits who created the land with due deference. Should anyone be wicked enough to forgo the necessary protocol associated with this, and offend a spirit, the penalty incurred was the death of the immediate offender by a bolt of lightning, the drowning of the people of the land in a river surge caused by sudden storms and floods, and the land itself devastated by a terrible gale.
6. The Ngiyaampaa people of Australia often depicted the faces of the images of their creator spirits and guides without which communicative facial features?

Answer: Mouths

The spirits often portrayed in ancient Ngiyaampaa cave drawings have dark and piercing eyes, with red, black and yellow lines painted on each white painted body. The reason behind the absence of mouths depicted on those painted images is the belief that if a mouth is included, it will begin to rain unceasingly and that all the inhabitants of the land will drown.

This echoes fascinatingly the belief of a great world wide deluge found in so many early mystical beliefs of peoples native to other countries around the world, and once again emphasises the absolute dependence of the early people of our land on the forces of nature.
7. This could make you hop around in delight. What do Australia's Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people believe caused the hills to be formed on the land?

Answer: A fight between two kangaroos

The creation of the hills, as narrated around Ngiyaampaa campfires for many thousands of years, occurred as the result of a fight between two kangaroos. The buck, Urdlu, and the doe, Mandya, had been friends for a long time, and travelled all over the flat land together for many years in their endless search for nourishment. One day Urdlu came across a lot of food (tucker), but Mandya found none. The greedy Urdlu refused to share with Mandya, or to tell her where he'd found his delicious treats.

Mandya grew thinner and thinner while the greedy Urdlu grew fatter and fatter. Mandya also grew very angry. One day, when he wasn't looking, and determined to find the food, she followed the tracks Urdlu left in the soil when he had gone to the waterhole where the food was located, on the day before - and there she located his hiding place. When Urdlu turned up to feed his greedy self, he was enraged to see her there, digging and eating. The two got into a huge fight, in the course of which Mandyla was injured when a stone became stuck in her side. As she limped away, she pulled the stone out and blew on it, and hills began to spring up everywhere. The more she blew the more hills appeared, as far as the eye could see, until all the land was covered.

"Hey!" cried Urdlu when he appeared, "I won't have any flat ground in which to live if you keep this up!" and with a sweep of his tail, he pushed the hills back to where they can still be seen today. The ground where he wanted to live has never had any grass on it since, because the soil was permanently stained from the blood of Mandyla's injuries. Thus combines the stories of the creation of the hills of the land and the deep red soils found everywhere in the heart of Australia.
8. One of the Dreaming legends of the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia tell of a certain water dwelling creature found in the dry heart of the land. As it was being cooked on a fire one day, it escaped and flew up to the sky to become the moon. What was that creature?

Answer: Fish

The Ngiyaampaa legend goes that two sisters one day were tired of looking after babies and doing all their normal chores, and swam across to an island where they planned to stay. They had water to drink, somewhere to sleep in the soft warm sun, and yams, roots and grubs to eat. There, as they lazed in the sunshine and argued gently as to whether they should return home or not, a large fish jumped up out of the water. With skill and craftiness, the sisters managed to catch it. Putting it on the fire to cook, they went to find some tasty roots to consume with their feast, but, when they returned, the fish had gone.

In astonishment, the sisters looked about for their elusive catch, and there, in front of them, they saw the creature climbing up a tree. Up and up it went until it reached the very top of the tree, from where it floated away up into the dark sky above, which, until this time, had only ever been lit by twinkling stars. As it floated high above them, the fish's body began to change shape and colour until it was round and silver. Then, as the sisters watched, it floated across the sky and disappeared behind a row of hills. The very next night, and the night after that for many days, the round, silvery fish continued to rise up from the hills to float across the sky, before it disappeared once more behind the hills on the opposite side of the land.

Soon, however, the sisters began to notice the moon fish growing thinner and thinner every night until eventually it disappeared altogether. This left the night sky as dark as it had been before. Not liking this, the sisters swam back across the river to their homes. They knew this was the right thing to do because the moon fish began to appear in the sky once more after their return. It has continued to do so from that time onwards, every night, as a reminder of the time the sisters once left their families.
9. What is the legend behind the birth of the sun believed by the Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people of Australia?

Answer: An emu egg was thrown into the sky

In the days of darkness before the birth of the sun, so the Ngiyaampaa legend goes, an emu and a brolga were quarrelling. The brolga, in her rage, grabbed an egg from the emu's nest, and threw it up in the air as high as she could. To the astonishment of both birds, the egg landed on a pile of firewood in the sky, burst into flames, and lit up the entire world.

When the spirit who looked after the sky saw how beautiful everything looked below under the light of the flames, he decided to make this light happen every day in the same manner. Each night following this first illumination, he and the other sky spirits accordingly collected wood for the fire the next day. To wake people up to see the glorious flames coming to life, the morning star was placed into the sky to alert them the glory was about to begin. This, however, didn't work for many people, and they continued to sleep on. The spirits then decided on another way to awaken those who slept below. They told the noisy kookaburra, with its raucous laughing call, that, as the morning star began to fade in the sky at the beginning of every day, it was to laugh its loudest to waken the sleepers. And that is how the birth of the sun and the early morning call of the kookaburra came about.
10. Another lovely legend of Australia's Ngiyaampaa aboriginal people involves the creation of the winding rivers on the land. Which animal is most associated with this?

Answer: Snakes

Ngiyaampaa people believed long ago in the Dreamtime the earth had no shape or form. Nothing moved or lived upon it at all, but then the different aspects of the landscapes were formed by the spirits who lived in the sky and who came to the land to carry out their various tasks. After the sun was created, it is believed that she held within her soul the seeds of everything, and that she went about the land awakening creatures who had hitherto slept since time began. "It is time to do your work" she told the insects, the plants, the grasses, the trees, and all the animals who had all been asleep until that time.

One such group of these creatures were the serpents. As they woke and began to slither across the face of the dry red land, their wriggling began to form the shape of the rivers that followed. These creative spirits then filled the rivers with all the fish life needed to sustain the continuance of mankind. And another lovely aboriginal legend of the people of the Ngiyaampaa nation is concluded.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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