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Dragons

48 49 The idea of dragon or serpent lines in the landscape finds its earliest expression in the art and myths of the native peoples of Africa and Australia. In western and central Africa a pair of snakes, Danbhalah the male divine serpent and Aida Hwedo the female rainbow serpent represent wisdom incarnate, and in Australia, as in so many ancient cultures, the earliest legend of all concerns a very similar reptile. The Aboriginal story begins in the distant Dreamtime when there were no animals, birds, trees, bushes, hills or mountains. The Great Rainbow Serpent stirred and set off to look for his own tribe. In the course of his wanderings he left huge impressions on the landscape, forming gorges, mountains, creeks, rivers and hills, both destroying and creating the environment. When he tired of shaping the earth he dragged his massive body into a water hole and sank into its depths. Today he is long gone, but his spirit still shines after rains fallas the rainbow. The songlines or dreamings left by the Rainbow Serpent and other creation beings are still marked by alignments of natural features, some visible and some invisible. They crisscross the entire continent of Australia, each possessing its own storyline and song structure. the raInBoW serpent An 50,000 yearold aboriginal rock painting of a human face surrounded by nearly 20 serpents.
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