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Aborigines. Who are they?. Aborigines. “First Australians” Aborigine: Latin meaning “from the beginning”. When did they come?. When? Debated!. 20,000-60,000 years ago Maybe up to 100,000 years ago. Where did they come from?. How did they come?. Disagreement…. Land bridge

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  • “First Australians”
  • Aborigine: Latin meaning “from the beginning”
when debated
When? Debated!
  • 20,000-60,000 years ago
  • Maybe up to 100,000 years ago
  • Land bridge
  • Island Hoppers
aboriginal clans
Aboriginal Clans
  • Clan – language group who owned a section of land
  • 100 people
  • One or two extended families (bands)
  • Bands hunted and gathered together
  • Met with other clans
  • Totem poles – sign of spiritual link to the land
aboriginal dreamtime
Aboriginal Dreamtime
  • Stories and customs relating and explaining creation
  • Example: Wayambeh

This image from the archives of LIFE magazine first appeared on December 12, 1955 Australian Aborigines Filled with the Spirit of the Kangaroo, Dancing to Honor the Sacred Marsupial

a walkabout is
A “walkabout” is…
  • A spiritual journey in which the Aborigines practice the traditional ways of their ancestors
  • A term coined by Europeans
europeans and sovereignty
Europeans and Sovereignty
  • Saw no permanent settlements
  • Viewed Aborigines as “savages”
william dampier
William Dampier
  • English explorer – 1688
  • Wrote that the Aborigines were, “the miserablest people in the world.”
james cook
James Cook
  • English explorer – 1770
  • “…in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans…In short they seemed to set no value upon anything we gave them, nor would they part with anything of their own for one article we could offer them.”
aboriginal protection act 1869
Aboriginal Protection Act - 1869
  • Passed to “protect” the Aborigines
  • Segregation law
  • Restricted housing, employment, property rights, and social and daily life

The Half-Caste Act of 1886

  • Extension of Aborigines Protection Act
  • Removed Aboriginals of mixed descent from Aboriginal stations
  • Adult half-castes forced to assimilate
  • Children “indentured”
aboriginal ordinance of 1918
Aboriginal Ordinance of 1918
  • First Commonwealth law for governing Indigenous people
  • Government control over Aboriginal lives
  • Continued removal of half-castes
  • Aboriginal stations became work stations
  • “Lost Generation” or “Stolen Generation”
aboriginal land rights act of 1976
Aboriginal Land Rights Act of 1976
  • 1st time Aborigines could legally claim rights to land based on traditional occupation
  • Restricted
  • 20 year limit (1997)
  • Problem: lack of evidence
city aborigines
“City” Aborigines
  • Substandard housing
  • Low levels of education
  • Poor health
  • Low levels of employment
  • Considerable poverty
how do european australians feel about the horrible injustice of the aborigines
How do “European” Australians feel about the “horrible injustice” of the Aborigines?
  • Embarrassed
  • Resentful

Mark Twain once wrote after visiting Australia:

“The Whites always mean well when they take human fish out of the ocean and try to make them dry and warm and happy and comfortable in a chicken coop.”