Rain Dream Ceremony, performed by Aboriginal tribe from the Northern Territory is taken from Aboriginal Music From Australia compilation released in 1977. This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music.
It is thought that the indigenous peoples of Australia (Aborigines) have inhabited the varying terrains of the continent for more than 40,000 years. Although only three percent of Australia’s population (as of 2015), the first Australians belong to more than four hundred distinct tribal groups and speak over two hundred languages.
Aboriginal music is essentially vocal music and mainly the prerogative of men, although women may provide vocal support in some ceremonies. Music is primarily sung during ceremonial rites of passage and funeral rituals. Singers may occasionally be accompanied by the droning rhythmic patterns of the didjeridu (didgeridoo), a long, tubular wind instrument usually made from eucalyptus wood, or by sticks.
The album includes ten songs—Rain Dreaming songs, clan songs, dance songs, and women’s songs—in nine languages. Most of the songs included on this album are ceremonial songs performed in an open, public forum, and others are performed only in closed ceremonies by and for initiated men. A small selection is played in minor ceremonies by women only. For the recordings on this album, however, all of the songs were performed in public contexts.