Interesting Facts about Australia’s Aboriginals

by Umesh Bethari Mathur

Australia might be one of the last territories to be discovered and settled by Europeans, but this doesn’t mean that the continent hasn’t been inhabited before their arrival. Quite the contrary: aboriginals (Australia’s native people) had been living there for thousands of years (some say even tenths of thousands of years!)
So the aboriginals are the first inhabitants of Australia, long before the continent’s exploration by the British. When European settlers arrived, the aboriginal population consisted of numerous tribes, many of which lived a nomadic lifestyle. Their culture, especially their religion and beliefs were very different from every other ethnicity. There are lots of interesting facts about Australia’s aboriginals and their culture, But in today’s post I will try to focus more on their history, legends and leisure activities.

A little bit of history

The clash of civilizations has proved to be almost fatal for the aboriginals in Australia: the population decreased dramatically, to the point where aboriginals represent only 2% of the country’s population. Being scattered in small tribes all over the Australian territory, Aboriginals has a very diverse culture, linguists identified over 200 languages. Aboriginals have been for many decades subject to discriminations, but the situation improved a lot since the 1960s, and year 2010 has brought their first seat in the parliament.

Legends and rites

by tim in sydeny

The aboriginals often refer to ‘dreams’ and ‘dreamtime’ in their legends. But these terms signify something totally different from what we know: ‘dreamtime’ is actually the time before creation. They believed in many deities, who were responsible for the creation of the world, of people and animals. They developed their own instruments and music and have executed complex mural paintings depicting their gods and ancestral beings. They also had interesting passage rituals, like the Bora, during which a boy would become a man.

Culture and leisure

by pikous

It is often considered that the sport of Marn Grook has inspired the Aussie Rules – Australian football. If you have the curiosity to watch such a game you will discover that many players are in fact of Aboriginal origin.
It is also worth taking a look at Australian indigenous art. In primordial times, aborigines used to paint on rock and create mysterious aerial landscapes. Jewelry created by Tasmanian aboriginals is very appreciated today. Actually, works of art created by contemporary indigenous artist can be admired not only in museums, but in many of Sydeny’s (or any other major Australian city) galleries.

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