Definition of songline in English:



usually songlines
  • 1(in Australian Aboriginal belief) a route through the landscape which is believed to have been travelled during the Dreamtime (or Alcheringa) and which features a series of landmarks thought to relate to events that happened during this time.

    • ‘An expert song-man, by listening to their order of succession, would count how many times his hero crossed a river, or scaled a ridge - and be able to calculate where, and how far along, a Songline he was.’
    • ‘This recognizes that there is a dimension of political identity and boundary marking in songlines.’
    • ‘If we were Australian aboriginals, wouldn't we be fighting to resist this erosion of our songlines and sacred places, by the secular powers-that-be?’
    • ‘Here in Sydney though, this is where the songlines of hundreds of thousands of years really soured for our people.’
    • ‘Even today aborigines in the outback habitually go walkabout to experience what they call the "songlines", singing the old songs and tunes and thereby continuing the very essence of creation.’
    1. 1.1 A traditional song or story recording a journey made during the Dreamtime.
      • ‘And all of their dreamtime stories, all of their songlines are all about the plants and the animals and the stories of how everything came to be.’
      • ‘The dance became an important part of setting the structure of who we are, what our songs and our songlines are.’