Posted on | March 18, 2011 | 3 Comments
“THERE is found in widely separated parts of Australia a belief in a huge serpent, which lives in certain pools or water-holes. This serpent is associated, and sometimes identified, with the rainbow. In many instances, it is also associated with quartz-crystal, doubtless from the prismatic colours visible in the latter. Now rock-crystal, in a great number of Australian tribes, is regarded as a substance of great magical virtue,” wrote the late English anthropologist, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, in “The Rainbow-Serpent Myth of Australia.”
This photo series records a glimmering recent incarnation of the rainbow serpent, or dream snake, in the Australian garden at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Commissioned in 2008, the project was overseen by Arboretum artist-in-residence Leigh Adams, who gives a gripping account of the dream snake legend at her website. “Before all this was here, there was dreaming, only dreaming and we call that Dreamtime,” she wrote. “When the energy of dreaming grew too powerful to just be, a huge serpent came into being and it thrashed with the unlimited energy of dreams and gleaming with the first colors of the birthing planet.”
Unlike many places in the world this week, Los Angeles was calm. But as rain envelops Southern California this weekend, who knows if the dreaming serpent will stir? To see a full-on slide show of its crystals on Flickr, click here. Or for a miniaturized glimpse, merely look after the jump.