Tjukurpa is the basis of all Aboriginal knowledge. It is a complex, all-encompassing belief system that defines religion, law and moral systems for Australia's indigenous people. It comes from their ancient ancestors who created, and brought life to the earth, during what non-indigenous people know as 'Dreamtime', or the 'Dreaming'.
In Aboriginal languages, there are no such words as 'Dreamtime', or 'Dreaming', but these terms have been adopted by non-indigenous people to describe Aboriginal beliefs. There is some debate, but it's generally acknowledged that the terms were first used by amateur ethnographer Francis Gillen in a report in 1896.
Dreamtime symbolises the birth of existence for Aboriginal people and the stories are the creationist myth for Aboriginal Australians. The stories of the Dreaming tell of how all living things descend from the Dreamtime ancestors, the Tingari, and how they shaped the earth. They are the ancient ancestors of every Aborigine today.