Dreamtime (also dream time, dream-time) is a term devised by early anthropologists to refer to a religio-cultural worldview attributed to Australian Aboriginal beliefs. It was originally used by Francis Gillen, quickly adopted by his colleague Baldwin Spencer and thereafter popularised by A. P. Elkin, who, however, later revised his views. The Dreaming is used to represent Aboriginal concepts of "time out of time" or "everywhen", during which the land was inhabited by ancestral figures, often of heroic proportions or with supernatural abilities. These figures were often distinct from "gods" as they did not control the material world and were not worshipped, but only revered. The concept of the dreamtime has subsequently become widely adopted beyond its original Australian context and is now part of global popular culture.

The term is based on a rendition of the indigenous (Arandic) word alcheringa, used by the Aranda (Arunta, Arrernte) people of Central Australia, although it has been argued that it is based on a misunderstanding or mistranslation. Some scholars suggest that the word's meaning is closer to "eternal, uncreated."[2] Anthropologist William Stanner remarked: "why the blackfellow thinks of 'dreaming' as the nearest equivalent in English is a puzzle",[3] and said that the concept was best understood by non-Aboriginal people as "a complex of meanings".[4]

By the 1990s, "Dreamtime" and "the Dreaming" had acquired their own currency in popular culture, based on idealised or fictionalised conceptions of Australian mythology. Since the 1970s, "Dreaming" and "Dream time" have also returned from academic usage via popular culture and tourism and are now ubiquitous in the English vocabulary of indigenous Australians in a kind of "self-fulfilling academic prophecy".[2][a]

Aboriginal art Carnarvon Gorge
Stencil art at Carnarvon Gorge, which may be memorials, signs from or appeals to totemic ancestors or records of Dreaming stories.[1]

Origin of the term

The station-master, magistrate and amateur ethnographer Francis Gillen first used the terms in an ethnographical report in 1896. With Walter Baldwin Spencer, Gillen published a major work, Native Tribes of Central Australia, in 1899.[5] In that work, they spoke of the Alcheringa as "the name applied to the far distant past with which the earliest traditions of the tribe deal".[6][b] Five years later, in their Northern tribes of central Australia, they gloss the far distant age as "the dream times", link it to the word alcheri meaning "dream", and affirm that the term is current also among the Kaitish and Unmatjera.[7]


Early doubts about the precision of Spencer and Gillen's English gloss were expressed by the German Lutheran pastor and missionary Carl Strehlow in his 1908 book Die Aranda ("The Arrernte"), who noted that his Arrente contacts explained altjira, whose etymology was unknown, as an eternal being who had no beginning. In the Arrernte tongue, the proper verb for "to dream" was altjirerama, i.e., "to see god". Strehlow theorised that the noun is the somewhat rare word altjirrinja, of which Spencer and Gillen gave a corrupted transcription and a false etymology. "The native," they concluded, "knows nothing of 'dreamtime' as a designation of a certain period of their history."[8][c]

Strehlow gives Altjira or Altjira mara (mara meaning "good") as the Arrente word for the eternal creator of the world and humankind. Strehlow describes him as a tall strong man with red skin, long fair hair and emu legs, with many red-skinned wives (with dog legs) and children. In Strehlow's account, Altjira lives in the sky (which is a body of land through which runs the Milky Way, a river).[9]

However, by the time Strehlow was writing, his contacts had been converts to Christianity for decades, and critics suggested that Altjira had been used by missionaries as a word for the Christian God.[9]

In 1926, Spencer conducted a field study to challenge Strehlow's conclusion about Altjira and the implied criticism of Gillen and Spencer's original work. Spencer found attestations of altjira from the 1890s that used the word to mean "associated with past times" or "eternal", not "god".[9]

Academic Sam Gill finds Strehlow's use of Altjira ambiguous, sometimes describing a supreme being and sometimes describing a totem being, but not necessarily a supreme one. He attributes the clash partly to Spencer's cultural evolutionist beliefs that Aboriginal people were at a pre-religion "stage" of development (and thus could not believe in a supreme being), while Strehlow as a Christian missionary found presence of belief in the divine a useful entry point for proselytising.[9]

Linguist David Campbell Moore is critical of Spencer and Gillen's "Dreamtime" translation, concluding:[10]

"Dreamtime" was a mistranslation based on an etymological connection between "a dream" and "Altjira" which held only over a limited geographical domain. There was some semantic relationship between "Altjira" and "a dream", but to imagine that the latter captures the essence of "Altjira" is an illusion.

Other terms

The complex of religious beliefs encapsulated by "Dreamtime" is also called:

In English, anthropologists have variously translated words normally translated as "Dreamtime" or "Dreaming" in a variety of other ways, including "everywhen", "world-dawn", "Ancestral past", "Ancestral present", "Ancestral now" (satirically), "Abiding Events" or "Abiding Law".[12]


Most translations of "Dreamtime" into other languages are based on the translation of the word "dream". Examples include Espaces de rêves in French ("dream spaces") and Snivanje in Croation (a gerund derived from the verb "to dream").[13]

Aboriginal beliefs and culture

Ku-ring-gai Chase - petroglyph
Ku-ring-gai Chase-petroglyph, via Waratah Track, depicting Baiame, the Creator God and Sky Father in the dreaming of several Aboriginal language groups.
Bibbulmun Track Markings
Waugals (yellow triangles with a black snake in the centre) are the official Bibbulmun Track trailmarkers between Kalamunda and Albany in Western Australia. The Noongar believe that the Waugal, or Wagyl, created the Swan River and is represented by the Darling scarp.

Related entities are known as Mura-mura by the Dieri and as Tjukurpa in Pitjantjatjara.

"Dreaming" is now also used as a term for a system of totemic symbols, so that an indigenous Australian may "own" a specific "Dreaming", such as Kangaroo Dreaming, Shark Dreaming, Honey Ant Dreaming, Badger Dreaming, or any combination of Dreamings pertinent to their country. This is because in "Dreamtime" an individual's entire ancestry exists as one, culminating in the idea that all worldly knowledge is accumulated through one's ancestors. Many Indigenous Australians also refer to the Creation time as "The Dreaming". The Dreamtime laid down the patterns of life for the Aboriginal people.[14]

Creation is believed to be the work of culture heroes who travelled across a formless land, creating sacred sites and significant places of interest in their travels. In this way, "songlines" (or Yiri in the Warlpiri language) were established, some of which could travel right across Australia, through as many as six to ten different language groupings. The dreaming and travelling trails of the Spirit Beings are the songlines. The signs of the Spirit Beings may be of spiritual essence, physical remains such as petrosomatoglyphs of body impressions or footprints, among natural and elemental simulacra.

"Dreaming" existed before the life of the individual begins, and continues to exist when the life of the individual ends. Both before and after life, it is believed that this spirit-child exists in the Dreaming and is only initiated into life by being born through a mother. The spirit of the child is culturally understood to enter the developing fetus during the fifth month of pregnancy.[15] When the mother felt the child move in the womb for the first time, it was thought that this was the work of the spirit of the land in which the mother then stood. Upon birth, the child is considered to be a special custodian of that part of their country and is taught the stories and songlines of that place. As Wolf (1994: p. 14) states: "A black 'fella' may regard his totem or the place from which his spirit came as his Dreaming. He may also regard tribal law as his Dreaming."

In the Wangga genre, the songs and dances express themes related to death and regeneration.[16] They are performed publicly with the singer composing from their daily lives or while Dreaming of a nyuidj (dead spirit).[17]

Dreaming stories vary throughout Australia, with variations on the same theme. The meaning and significance of particular places and creatures is wedded to their origin in the Dreaming, and certain places have a particular potency or "dreaming." For example, the story of how the sun was made is different in New South Wales and in Western Australia. Stories cover many themes and topics, as there are stories about creation of sacred places, land, people, animals and plants, law and custom. In Perth, the Noongar believe that the Darling Scarp is the body of the Wagyl – a serpent being that meandered over the land creating rivers, waterways and lakes and who created the Swan River. In another example, the Gagudju people of Arnhemland, for which Kakadu National Park is named, believe that the sandstone escarpment that dominates the park's landscape was created in the Dreamtime when Ginga (the crocodile-man) was badly burned during a ceremony and jumped into the water to save himself.

In popular culture

An early reference is found is Richard McKenna's 1960s speculative fiction novella, Fiddler's Green, which mentions "Alcheringa... the Binghi spirit land", i.e. the Aranda concept translated as "Dream time". Early 1970s references to the concept include Ursula K. Le Guin's novella The Word for World is Forest (1972) and Peter Weir's films The Last Wave (1977) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

"Dreamtime" became a widely cited concept in popular culture in the 1980s, and by the late 1980s was adopted as a cliché in New Age and feminist spirituality alongside related appeals to other "Rouseauian natural people", such as the Native Americans idealized in 1960s hippie counterculture.[18]




  • In Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio drama, Dreamtime (2005), the Seventh Doctor and his companions deal with Aborigine mysticism and Uluru.
  • The Italian painter Giuliano Ghelli painted a series of canvases informally known as "aborigeni" inspired by a trip to Australia and a reading of Bruce Chatwin's novel The Songlines.[19]
  • Alexis Wright's novel Carpentaria (2006) alludes to Dreaming narrative from the Gulf of Carpentaria through her stories of contemporary Aboriginal characters, a form of Australian magical realism.
  • Sandra McDonald's novels, The Outback Stars, The Stars Down Under and The Stars Blue Yonder (2007–2009), use Aboriginal myth extensively.
  • The film Australia (2008) includes aspects of aboriginal Dreaming (songlines).
  • The Finnish band Korpiklaani recorded a track called "Uniaika" (Dreamtime) on the album Karkelo in 2009.
  • Tuomas Holopainen's 2014 album Music Inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge includes a track entitled "Dreamtime," which directly references the Scrooge McDuck comic Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never, and includes a didgeridoo in its instrumentation.
  • Sam Kieth's comic Maxx relies heavily on the psychology and concept of Dreamtime.
  • Jeff Smith says that aspects of his cartoon/fantasy epic Bone were inspired by Dreamtime, among other things.[20]
  • Queenie Chan's manga The Dreaming (2005) takes place in Australia and deals with students from a boarding school who mysteriously go missing. Aboriginal legends feature in the series.
  • Betty Clawman from DC Comics' New Guardians was an aboriginal girl chosen to be part of the next stage in man's evolution – i.e. the New Guardians. Dreamtime figured in the story.
  • In issues #89–90 of DC Comics' Hellblazer, John Constantine ventures into the Dreamtime.
  • Wildstorm's Planetary issue #15 briefly deals with the Dreamtime.
  • In the graphic novel Y: The Last Man, the protagonist's love interest, Beth, spends time in Australia. Events in the Dreamtime are presented as a possible reason for the worldwide plague that killed almost all male mammals.
  • In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and Dreamfall Chapters there's a place which draws heavily from the concept of Dreamtime, as well as from other Aboriginal mythologies: the Storytime. It is described as the place where every story begins and ends.
  • In the episode "Walkabout" of the animated series Gargoyles, an Aborigine mentor to Dingo teaches him of the Dreamtime. In the same episode, Goliath and Dingo enter the Dreamtime in order to communicate with an AI nanotech entity called the Matrix.
  • In Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, the Dreaming/Dreamtime is an alternate universe inhabited by mystical beings known as the Bunyip, the title characters family is sealed within the Dreaming by Boss Cass before the events of the first game, and in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan, Dreamtime becomes a warzone between the Bunyip and the Quinkan.
  • In the third Sly Cooper game Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Murray is a student of Dreamtime, and his master joins the gang as well.
  • In the animated series ExoSquad, two of the main characters talk to an aboriginal aid who explains the nature of the Dreamtime and the cave art are shown depicting their current events.
  • The Australian fantasy superhero television series Cleverman draws its premise and many concepts from various Dreaming stories, including those of the "hairymen", a monster known as the Namorrodorr, and the Cleverman himself. The Dreaming is referenced explicitly several times.

See also


  1. ^ Stanner warned about uncritical use of the term and was aware of its semantic difficulties, while at the same time he continued using it and contributed to its popularisation; according to Swain it is "still used uncritically in contemporary literature".
  2. ^ "the dim past to which the natives give the name of the 'Alcheringa'." (p.119)
  3. ^ The Strehlows' informant for this, Moses (Tjalkabota), was a convert to Christianity, and the adoption of his interpretation suffered from a methodological error, according to Barry Hill, since his conversion made his views on pre-contact beliefs unreliable.


  1. ^ Walsh 1979, pp. 33–41.
  2. ^ a b Swain 1993, p. 21.
  3. ^ Price-Williams 1987, p. 249.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Nicholls 2014a.
  5. ^ James 2015, p. 36.
  6. ^ Spencer & Gillen 1899, p. 73 n.1,645.
  7. ^ Spencer & Gillen 1904, p. 745.
  8. ^ Hill 2003, pp. 140–141.
  9. ^ a b c d Gill 1998, pp. 93–103.
  10. ^ Moore 2016, pp. 85–108.
  11. ^ a b c Nicholls 2014b.
  12. ^ Swain 1993, pp. 21–22.
  13. ^ Nicholls 2014c.
  14. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica.
  15. ^ Bates 1996.
  16. ^ Marett 2005, p. 1.
  17. ^ Povinelli 2002, p. 200.
  18. ^ di Leonardo 2000, p. 377 n.42.
  19. ^ Vanni & Pedretti 2005, pp. 18, 70.
  20. ^ Smith, Bone–A–Fides section.


External links

148780 Altjira

148780 Altjira is a binary classical Kuiper belt object (cubewano). The secondary, S/2007 (148780) 1, is large compared to the primary, 140 kilometres (87 mi) vs. 160 kilometres (99 mi). The Altjiran lightcurve is quite flat (Δmag<0.10), which is indicative of a "quasi-spherical body with a homogeneous surface".The satellite's orbit has the following parameters: semi-major-axis, 9904 ± 56 km; period, 139.561 ± 0.047 days; eccentricity, 0.3445 ± 0.0045; and inclination, 35.19 ± 0.19°(retrograde). The total system mass is about 4 × 1018 kg.It was named after the Arrernte creation deity, Altjira, who created the Earth during the Dreamtime and then retired to the sky.

220 Volt Live

220 Volt Live is the seventh live album by Tangerine Dream and forty-eighth overall. It recorded live in the USA in 1992. It is the last of the band's many live albums consisting of original material not released previously. This may be considered some of the band's most rock oriented music so far, with guitarist Zlatko Perica's playing being a more prominent element. Re-issued in 1999 and then again in 2009 on Membran.

Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology

Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology (also known as Dreamtime or Dreaming stories, songlines, or Aboriginal oral literature) are the stories traditionally performed by Aboriginal peoples within each of the language groups across Australia.

All such myths variously "tell significant truths within each Aboriginal group's local landscape. They effectively layer the whole of the Australian continent's topography with cultural nuance and deeper meaning, and empower selected audiences with the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of Australian Aboriginal ancestors back to time immemorial".David Horton's Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia contains an article on Aboriginal mythology observing:

"A mythic map of Australia would show thousands of characters, varying in their importance, but all in some way connected with the land. Some emerged at their specific sites and stayed spiritually in that vicinity. Others came from somewhere else and went somewhere else."

"Many were shape changing, transformed from or into human beings or natural species, or into natural features such as rocks but all left something of their spiritual essence at the places noted in their stories."Australian Aboriginal mythologies have been characterized as "at one and the same time fragments of a catechism, a liturgical manual, a history of civilization, a geography textbook, and to a much smaller extent a manual of cosmography."

Dreamtime (The Cult album)

Dreamtime is the debut album by The Cult. Released on 10 September 1984, it reached #21 in the UK and was later certified silver by the BPI after having sold 60,000 copies. The first single, "Spiritwalker", reached #1 on the UK Indie Chart. Dreamtime has subsequently been reissued (or in some cases bootlegged) in roughly 30 countries worldwide.

Lyrics to the song "Horse Nation" are taken almost verbatim from the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. "Spiritwalker" is a reference to shamanism, while "Dreamtime" is inspired by the Australian Aborigines and 'Butterflies' is a reference to the Hopi ceremonial butterfly dance. "A Flower in the Desert" is a reworking of the Southern Death Cult's song "Flowers in the Forest".

The record was originally being produced by Joe Julian, but after recording the drums, the band decided to replace him, and Beggars Banquet suggested John Brand. The record was ultimately produced by Brand, but guitarist Billy Duffy has said that the drum tracks used on the record were those produced by Julian, as band drummer Nigel Preston had become too unreliable by that time.

Dreamtime (The Stranglers album)

Dreamtime is the ninth album released by The Stranglers in 1986. The title track was inspired by a belief of the aboriginal peoples of Australia called Dreamtime.

The single "Always the Sun" single peaked at No. 30 in the UK Singles Chart. Dreamtime itself reached No. 16 in the UK Albums Chart, the lowest charting studio album during Hugh Cornwell's recording tenure with the band (1977–90).Singles released in the UK for this album included "Nice In Nice" (peaked at No. 30), "Always The Sun", "Big In America" (peaked at No. 48) and "Shakin' Like A Leaf" (peaked at No. 58). A fifth single was proposed by the record company, and a remixed version of the song "Was It You?" was recorded, but it was never released.

Dreamtime (audio drama)

Dreamtime is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.

Dreamtime (book)

Dreamtime: Concerning the Boundary between Wilderness and Civilization is an anthropological and philosophical study of the altered states of consciousness found in shamanism and European witchcraft written by German anthropologist Hans Peter Duerr. First published in 1978 by Syndikat Autoren-und Verlagsgesellschaft under the German title of Traumzeit: Über die Grenze zwischen Wildnis und Zivilisation, it was translated into English by the Hungarian-American anthropologist Felicitas Goodman and published by Basil Blackwell in 1985.

Dreamtime opens with the premise that many of those accused of witchcraft in early modern Christendom had been undergoing visionary journeys with the aid of a hallucinogenic salve which was suppressed by the Christian authorities. Duerr argues that this salve had been a part of the nocturnal visionary traditions associated with the goddess Diana, and he attempts to trace their origins back to the ancient world, before looking at goddesses associated with the wilderness and arguing that in various goddess-centred cultures, the cave represented a symbolic vagina and was used for birth rituals.

Later in the book, Duerr looks at ethnographic examples of shamanism, focusing on the shamanic use of hallucinogens and the experiences which such entheogens induce. He argues that "archaic cultures" recognize that a human can only truly understand themselves if they go to the mental boundary between "civilization" and "wilderness", and that it is this altered state of consciousness which both the shaman and the European witch reached in their visionary journeys. Believing that the modern western worldview failed to understand this process, Duerr criticizes the work of those anthropologists and scientists who had tried to understand "archaic" society through a western rationalist framework, instead advocating a return to "archaic" modes of thought.

Dreamtime was a controversial best-seller upon its initial release in West Germany, and inspired academic debate leading to the publication of Der Gläserne Zaun (1983), an anthology discussing Duerr's ideas, edited by Rolf Gehlen and Bernd Wolf. Reviews in the Anglophone world were mixed, with critics describing Dreamtime as unoriginal, factually inaccurate, and difficult to read, but also innovative and well referenced.

Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never

Dreamtime Duck of the Never Never is a young adult Scrooge McDuck comic by Don Rosa. It is the seventh of the original 12 chapters in the series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. The story takes place from 1893 to 1896.

Dreamtime Live at the Lyceum

Live at the Lyceum is a live album by The Cult, recorded live at the Lyceum Ballroom in London on 20 May 1984. The band performed 15 songs at the concert, which was edited down to nine songs for this release. In the UK, it was released with the first 30,000 copies of the Dreamtime LP, and also found on side 2 of the Dreamtime cassette. It was released separately as a live LP in Canada and Japan. The live version of "Bone Bag" was released as a videosingle in Argentina.

Dreamtime Return

Dreamtime Return (1988) is a double album by the American ambient musician Steve Roach, based on Australian Aboriginal culture and the concept of the Dreamtime. Described as "one of the pivotal works of ambient music" and "groundbreaking," the album has been included on a number of lists of the world's best music, including 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.

Dreamtime at the 'G

Dreamtime at the 'G is an annual Australian rules football match between Australian Football League clubs Essendon and Richmond.

The name of the match comes from the Australian Aboriginal term "Dreamtime" and "the 'G", a nickname for the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where the match takes place. Since the 2007 season the match has been held annually on the Saturday night of the AFL's "Indigenous Round".

The game draws one of the highest crowds of the home-and-away season, with an average crowd of over 70,000 since its inception and a record attendance of 85,656 in 2017. The winning club is awarded the "Kevin Sheedy Cup" and the best player on the ground is awarded the "Yiooken Award".

Indigenous All Stars (rugby league)

The Indigenous Australian rugby league team (also known as the Indigenous All Stars or Indigenous Dreamtime team) is a rugby league football team that represents Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. The team was first formed in 1973 and currently plays in an annual All Stars Match against a National Rugby League NRL All Stars team.

Jamie Stewart (bassist)

James Alec Stewart (born 31 January 1964) is a British musician and former bassist of the 1980s post-punk/hard rock group The Cult. He played bass guitar on each of The Cult's first four albums (Dreamtime, Love, Electric and Sonic Temple), and keyboards on Dreamtime and Love.

He was born in Harrow, London to Donald Stewart (violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra) and Myra Stewart (née Kidd) (dancer with the International Ballet).


The Manbarra, otherwise known as the Wulgurukaba, were an Indigenous Australian people, and the original inhabitants of Palm Island in Queensland.

Peaceville Records

Peaceville Records is a British independent heavy metal record label. The label was founded by Paul "Hammy" Halmshaw (of the bands Instigators and Civilised Society) in Dewsbury, England in 1987, who was also a one-time drummer of Sore Throat. Originally a tape label releasing anarcho punk, the releases moved towards metal through crust punk and similar forms of metal-influenced English hardcore punk. Halmshaw started running the label full-time in 1988, although the original tape label incarnation was founded in 1981 as a vehicle for releasing Instigators demo cassettes.

The label is therefore known for the connection between doom metal and the 1980s English crust punk scene. Sister labels 'Deaf' and 'Dreamtime' concentrated more on thrash metal (Deaf) and psychedelic electronica (Dreamtime).

However, the bands Autopsy, Darkthrone, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Opeth, Katatonia and Paradise Lost - known as the 'Peaceville Stable' - have been the label's most recognizable traits since the 1990s. Peaceville also became known for its anti-major label stance and left wing political outlook.

In November 2006, after 25 years at the helm, Halmshaw announced that he and co-manager Lisa Halmshaw would be leaving the label to concentrate on new projects, and that his former assistant, Paul Groundwell, would be taking over general management duties, following the sale of the label to back catalogue specialists Snapper Music, who had distributed Peaceville since 2001.

Shrinking Violet (album)

Shrinking Violet is the sixth album by glam metal band L.A. Guns, first released on June 1, 1999, through Perris Records, and is the only L.A. Guns album with singer Jizzy Pearl. The album was reissued, with bonus tracks and new artwork, on May 24, 2010, through Favored Nations. The album was produced by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke who also provided additional guitars on the track "Dreamtime".

The Butterfly Effect (Heroes)

"The Butterfly Effect" is the second episode of the third season of the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes and thirty-sixth episode overall. It was written by series creator/executive producer Tim Kring and directed by Greg Beeman. The episode aired on September 22, 2008 immediately after "The Second Coming" as part of the three-hour premiere event.

The Dreaming (song)

"The Dreaming" is the title song from Kate Bush's fourth studio album The Dreaming and was released a single on 26 July 1982. Bush hadn't released a single since "Sat in Your Lap" thirteen months earlier. "The Dreaming" made it to #48 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song is about the destruction of Aboriginal homelands by white Australians in their quest for weapons-grade uranium. Musical guest Rolf Harris plays the didgeridoo on the recording.

Bird impersonator Percy Edwards provided sheep noises.The original title for the track was "The Abo Song", which unwittingly made use of a racial slur; promotional 7" copies were circulated before being recalled.An alternative version of "The Dreaming", entitled "Dreamtime", was used as the UK single b-side. It is usually referred to as an instrumental version of "The Dreaming". This is not strictly true in that while the track omits all the sung lead vocal lyrics it still retains most of the backing vocals such as the stretched dreamtime harmonies heard during the chorus. It is also of note that "Dreamtime" contains both an extended intro and outro. It starts with approximately 4 bars of double-tracked didgeridoo drone before the original arrangement comes in and finishes with approximately 30 seconds of the same following a breakdown of the original arrangement.

Bush's rhytmical breathing, which appears at 0:29 into the song and again at 3:07-3:09, was sampled by Martin Gore for Depeche Mode's successful 1989 single Personal Jesus, which also includes some drum samples from "The Dreaming".

Following his conviction for sexual abuse, Harris was digitally removed from the 2018 remaster and subsequently replaced.


The Wandjina (sometimes Wondjina) are cloud and rain spirits from Australian Aboriginal mythology that are depicted prominently in rock art in Australia. Some of the artwork in the Kimberley region of Western Australia dates back approximately 4,000 years ago.

The stories of the Wandjina and the artwork depicting them remain important to the Mowanjum Community of Indigenous people.

Wandjina were the inspiration for a 1966 children's fantasy television series, Wandjina!, produced by ABC Television in 1966.


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