The Rainbow Serpent myths are some of the most important stories in Aboriginal culture. These stories are part of 'Dreamtime' or 'The dreaming', they are the creation myths of the aboriginal people. Dreamtime (Tjukurrpa) stories tell of great spirits in animal and human form who sculpted the featureless earth.
Stories have been passed down the generations for thousands of years and are the basis of Aboriginal spirituality - they are often humorous, and sometimes rather dark! Rock art of the serpent myth found in Arnhem land has been dated at over 6000 years old, making these tales amongst the longest surviving continuing beliefs in human history.
The Rainbow Serpent is known by different names in different Aboriginal tribes and there are innumerable stories associated with it. The snake lives in waterholes and travels between them, either underground or within clouds when a rain storm is moving, and when a rainbow is appears in the sky, it is said to be the Rainbow Serpent moving from one waterhole to another.