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The Australian Aboriginals. The Oldest Living Culture. Objectives and Goals. Identify the origin of the Australian Aboriginal culture. Describe traditions and family unit. Describe aboriginals way of life. Analyze impact of European settlement on aboriginals lifestyle.

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The Australian Aboriginals


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    1. The Australian Aboriginals The Oldest Living Culture

    2. Objectives and Goals • Identify the origin of the Australian Aboriginal culture. • Describe traditions and family unit. • Describe aboriginals way of life. • Analyze impact of European settlement on aboriginals lifestyle.

    3. Historical Timeline of Aborigines 40-60,000 years ago - Indigenous people first migrated to Australia from Asia. 1700’s - 1770, James Cook, of Britain, took possession of the east coast of Australia. - British appropriated the land and water that the Aborigines resided on. - Aborigines were driven off of their land and traditional areas. - 1788-1900, Various diseases brought over by British such as chicken pox, small pox, influenza, and measles reduced the Aborigine population by 90%.

    4. Historical Timeline of Aborigines 1800’s - European settlements led to massacres of Aborigine inhabitants. - 1838, Myall Creek Massacre occurred in which the Europeans tried to eliminate the Aborigines and continue to take over their land. - 1870’s, all land appropriated and indigenous groups were forced to live on the edge of the European communities on the shores of Australia. 20th Century - Aborigines population was reduced to 50,000-90,000 after European massacres and settlements.

    5. Historical Timeline of Aborigines 20th Century - “Stolen Generation” in which the children of the Aborigine people were taken and placed with European families with the idea that they would be better off not exposed to the Aborigine culture. - 1963, the Aborigines were given the right to vote in the Commonwealth elections. - 1967, the Commonwealth began making laws with respect to the Aboriginal people. - 1970’s, Aboriginal flag was created and flown for the first time. - 1976, the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was created and passed restoring the traditional land to the Aborigines. - 1998, National Sorry Day created to acknowledge the wrong done to the Aboriginal families.

    6. Geographic Information - The Aboriginal clan sites have been recorded all over the continent of Australia. - There have been many documented areas in southern Australia in which the aboriginal clans resided. - They inhabited and continue to inhabit various climatic areas such as coastal regions, rainforests, woodlands, alpine mountains and harsh desert regions.

    7. History

    8. Aboriginal Economy • Before the European settlement, aborigines maintained a means of exchange with other countries and themselves. • They were traders with a media of exchange equivalent to money. • Many types of good were exchanged and traded which formed networks across the continent of Australia. • They exchanged pearl shell ornaments as well as songs and ceremonies. • The exchange of songs and ceremonies was one way that the different aborigine clans, groups, remained similar. • Fisherman from New Wales came to the Australian shores yearly and traded with the aborigines. • They provided tobacco, iron, glass and technological know how in exchange for turtle shell and labor.

    9. Aboriginal Industry • Art plays an important part of Aboriginal life and is connected to land, law and religious belief.

    10. Agriculture • The men were responsible for hunting large game, birds and fish. They generally hunted the kangaroo in groups. • The traditional role for Aboriginal women was that of gatherer. They were responsible for harvesting insects, shellfish and almost all plant • The east coast of Australia has over 250 edible plants including tubers such as yams and grass potatoes, fern roots, palm hearts, legumes, nuts, seeds, shoots, leaves and a wide variety of fruits such as figs and berries.

    11. Agriculture • Wheat • Barley • Sugarcane • Fruits • Cattle • Sheep • Poultry

    12. Religion/Beliefs • The Aborigines beliefs were mostly based on mythology • The rainbow Serpent is a mythological being across Australia • It is the thought to be the controller of the water in Australia

    13. Spirituality/Religion • This is an example of a Bush Chapel. Christian services are held in along with underlying Aboriginal spiritual beliefs. • Spirituality for Indigenous Australians takes many forms. The Aborigine people have been highly influenced by colonialism, both past and present. • Since the colonization of Australia, most Aboriginal people have converted to Christianity. But for most people religious beliefs are derived from a sense of belonging-to the land, to the sea, to other people, to one's culture. • Their world is inhabited by ghosts of the dead, as well as spirits who control certain aspects of the natural world.

    14. Clothing • The Aborigines traditionally went naked, except for a cloth to cover their private parts • Both men and women would wear red and yellow earth paints, charcoal and wore bird feathers around their necks and arms • Both men and women would also wear skin cloaks made from possums, kangaroos, and wallabies

    15. Clothing

    16. Ceremonial Clothing • Ceremonies require that attendees wear certain types of dress or costumes • Traditional dress enable the participants to connect their bodies to the spiritual world by wearing important blessed objects • Attendees present themselves as a totem figure or enabling their bodies to carry significant markings • Ceremonial clothing includes wrist and ankle bands made of string and animal skins • Women often wear skirts made from emu or other bird feathers • Different language groups have their own versions of ceremonial dress and costumes

    17. Aboriginal Foods - Before the European settlement, the Aborigines feasted on the native plants and animals of the environment. - They hunted and ate native animals such as kangaroo, wallaby and emu. - Their diet consisted of berries, roots, nectar and seeds. - The clans that lived on the shorelines ate shellfish and other types of fish along with the typical diet of berries and plants.

    18. Aboriginal Foods • Bunaangu- The Aborigine people would eat the sap from this plant. It can also be boiled and drank. It helps with toothaches and heartburn.

    19. Bush Tucker Foods • The term used for the diet and food for the aborigines before European settlements. • It is also a term used for a method of cooking their food. • Indigenous bush tucker cooking consisted of different methods of cooking their food such as: roasting over coals, cooking in ashes, steaming in a ground oven and boiling. • Bush tucker foods varied depending on what was available in the area in which they lived.

    20. Family • Known as social organizations or tribes • No defined leader or hierarchy • Most lived in small bands that were made up of three to six families • The size of the band depended on nature and reserves • Average size of a band: • ~40-50 people in the tropical woodlands • ~10-20 people in the central desert • ~40-80 in the temperate woodlands

    21. Traditions & Ceremonies • Aboriginal ceremonies are concerned with acting out The Dreaming, its laws, and stories • Men & women have different roles • Roles are varied from language group to language group • Men: guardian of special spiritual site • Women: guardian of a special knowledge • Some ceremonies are based on gender • Different ceremonies are geared to only men, only women, or a mixture of both

    22. Ceremonies Click on the video clip to view traditions from an Aboriginal ceremony

    23. Dreamtime Stories • Dreamtime stories are stories that are passed down that explain how the land was formed, spirituality, creation, relationships between people, and governmental issues. This is the basis of the Aboriginal belief system. • Dreamtime Stories have been handed down through the generations and are not owned by any man. They belong to the people and the storytellers carry out the tradition of passing the stories along. • Today's custodians, the skillful storytellers chosen to pass along the stories, spread the stories as to as many as possible. It is essential to the culture that the youth of the group continue the stories.

    24. Dreamtime StoriesConnection to Culture Dreamtime Culture Web

    25. Dreamtime Video Click on the video clip to view traditions from an Aboriginal ceremony

    26. Resources • http://www.gleninnes.com/cooramah/htm/food.html • www.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia • www.australianaustralia.com • www.didjshop.com/ABCulture.html • www.en.wikipedia.org • www.goaustralia.about.com