Indigenous People of Australia

Australian Aboriginal People: Overview of Their Tradition and Culture

Aboriginal culture came before the pyramids and predates Stonehenge. It’s more ancient than the Acropolis itself. Dating back to more than 50,000 years, it’s one of the oldest living ones existing to date. Although there may have been cultural traditions before it, this is one of the only ones that can still be experienced. If you plan to visit Australia, then hiring an aboriginal guide to take you on a tour of the ancient culture could be a good choice. Getting to know the Australian Aboriginal people is the first and perhaps the most important step in getting to know the land.

Are you one of those travellers who always wants to experience new things in life? Then I welcome you to the world of ancient traditions married with modern technology. The past, present, and future all come together here to display a unique range of cultural diversity.

Australian Indigenous People

Australian Aboriginal people; take a tourist

Australian Aborigines are considered to be the world’s oldest surviving culture. While times may have changed and modern technology might have intruded, the spirit of the traditions survives still.

Aborigines of Australia are believed to have existed for more than 10,000 years in the country.To an outsider, indigenous people may seem somewhat reclusive and uniquely separate from each other. The truth can not be more far off. The aboriginals of Australia prefer to define themselves as different shades of the same spirit. Case in point, you might differentiate the aborigines of Tasmania and Queensland as distinctively different from each other.

Australian Aboriginal people; Travel Australia

While the aboriginals themselves may define themselves as different in appearance but branches of the same tree. Aboriginal culture may be considered one of the most remarkable things about Australian tourism. The fact of the matter is, however, that barely four per cent of Australian society can be considered indigenous. This means you can’t be sure about getting the chance to interact with the First People of Australia. Scheduling your trip ahead of time, marking down the relevant travel hubs, is the best way for you to move ahead.

Australian Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander flag

Two flags symbolize the indigenous people of Australia. Harold Thomas designed the first one back in 1971. The three colours of the flag depict different things.

Travel Australia; Aboriginal flag

Red symbolizes the earth, the sun is symbolized by the yellow circle, and lastly, the black depicts the indigenous people themselves. In 1992, Mr Bernard Namok designed the other one, which is known as Torres Strait Islander flag. The layout of the flag entails three panels that are arranged horizontally. The colour scheme has green at both top and bottom which depicts the land and blue colour depicts the sea separating the two. Narrow black strips separating the colour panels denote the indigenous people. The conventional diadem of the Torres Strait is known as a “dhari”.

A white dhari is inserted at the centre of it all. The white five pointed star depicts the peace between the five island factions that entail the Torres Strait. If you want to know more about the fun facts about the Torres Strait Islander flag and Aboriginal culture, you can learn about it here.

Australian Aboriginal people and their connection with the land

Travel Australia; Australian Aboriginal people

If there is one aspect that distinctively defines the Australian Aboriginal people, it is their fondness and deep connection with their land. The indigenous people living in different places of the country define themselves differently as well. For example, the indigenous people living in the area surrounded by sea will most probably define themselves as saltwater people. However, if you go to a place near rivers, those people will deine themselves as freshwater people.

If you go further inland to the desert areas, then indigenous communities around the area will define themselves as the “desert people”.

Aboriginals of Australia; desert people
©aboriginals of Australia

Rather than trying to distinguish themselves on their own, they let their habitat define themselves instead. It’s quite important to understand for any person, whether a foreigner or just an outsider to this culture, that the Indigenous people of Australia are extraordinarily proud of the land. Try to be respectful of their mindset and traditions.

There are many myths regarding the connection of Australian Aboriginal people with their land. However, if you do interact with the people themselves, the concept might be quite different. Their ancient traditions believe that the ancestral spirits that guided the indigenous people in ancient times emerged from the ground and the sky. Rather than the concept of evolution put forward by Darwin, the ancient traditions and cultures of Indigenous people of Australia believe that all life and you know it has been created rather than evolved.

The elder spirits are considered to be their guides and creators that create their life as well as guide them through the journey of their life. It is said in aboriginal folktales that the forces of chaos create all lives on earth or are somehow ever-present.

Through an Aboriginal’s POV

Things to do in australia; know Australian Aboriginal people

The worldview of Australian Aboriginal people remains a mystery to the most modern people interacting with them. You may feel the difference from your own point of view while getting to know their philosophies. From their flags to their way of life, everything about their expertise is a a deep link with their lands. Whenever you introduce yourself to someone, how do you introduce yourself?

With your name, you may choose to share likes and dislikes and perhaps the religion you belong to. When Australian Aboriginal people introduce themselves, more often than not, they start by telling you about their land. Like we discussed above, the people surrounded by the ocean may refer to themselves as sulphur people. The people living nearby reverse marifer themselves say freshwater people, the people with a desert habitat may refer to themselves as the desert people.

Things to do in Australia; creation myth
©Aboriginal Australia

Aboriginal concept

Being the Australian Aboriginal people is not just about looking different or wearing special ornaments depicting their differences. It’s more about their whole point of view towards the world itself. The concept of an individual’s relation to their land in the modern cultures around the world differs entirely from that of indigenous people. When travelling to Australia, I recommend you to choose an aboriginal guide.

Not only as a nod to the Australian Aboriginal people but to get a chance to see the local attractions from the view of someone so deeply interlinked with the land as well. You may have a mental image of someone with a sombre and conservative nature in your mind about the indigenous people. the truth is a bit different. They are actually quite practical people, known for having a good sense of humour.

Australian Aboriginals; Travel the world
©culture trip

Choosing one as a guide is a great choice for you to find fun things to do in Australia. Distinctive differences between the indigenous nations.  Many tourists make the mistake of lumping all the indigenous people together. The fact is that there are as many categories as they differentiate themselves into nations or tribes of Australian Aboriginal people.

Connection with the land

The Australian continent is comprised of temperate regions, tropical areas and deserts as well. Australian Aboriginal people tribes have differentiated themselves according to their land from ancient times. The presence of different landscapes means different cultures altogether as well. Some see Australia as a newly budding country. Oftentimes it’s because they forget the fact that most people from Australia have been there more than 10,000 years. Much before the colonisation by the British monarchy took place.

It was colonised by the British, which can be considered quite recent. But the fact remains that around 350 different kinds of indigenous tribes in our nation lived in Australia just a few hundred years ago as well.


Things to do in Australia; meet the first people of australia

The problem with rounding things up is, the details are ignored. Like the detail that most people seem to use aboriginal as a phrase that lumps together both Australian aboriginal culture and society as a whole. However, aboriginal nations are quite distinct from each other. While mainland Australia as a whole is thought to be Aboriginal land, the Islander nations(i.e. the Torres Strait Islanders) have their separate kind of cultural traditions, world view and connections to their land.

Difference in worldview

You meet the desert people (a subtype of Australian Aboriginal people) and get to know a different kind of worldview that they might share with you. When you interact with the freshwater people, you will learn about the ways of their life lives about their culture, their traditions and you will understand the stark contrast between the two. When you mingle with the desert people, the point of view of their culture the way of life they follow will be another whole thing to get to know about. Well, you may choose to call all of them aboriginals. A single term for all does not mean they are all the same. Learn to respect their differences.

If you plan to spend some time in Australia, getting to know about the different indigenous cultures, traditions, history and their values, I recommend you to keep an open mind. Please try and learn to respect their traditions as well.

Cultures and traditions of the Australian Aboriginal people

Australian Aboriginal people singing
©New York Times

The colonisation by the British changed Australia and the rest of the world forever. Everything was quite different. It is said that there were around 350 to 750 different kinds of indigenous Australian groupings on the continent. Considering the fact that in ancient times these groupings kept their distance and preferred to keep to themselves, there was similar numbers of languages, cultures and ways of life as well.

It is a known fact that without any physically defined boundaries between the two, there was a mutually agreed remove between the Torres strait Islanders and the mainland aboriginals of the Australian continent. If you research the Australian indigenous cultures you will understand the significance of a simple spoken or implied phrase “welcome to country”.

Travel Australia; Australian Aboriginals

Due to the numerous number of nations among the Australian Aboriginal people, there was an implied tradition in trend. Upon entry into any new region, as long as you are offered a welcome by a local, you are offered safe passage. The welcome might be in a verbal form or with gestures, song or something as simple as an offering of something to share, the result being, you are offered guest rights.

The global impact brought about by colonisation is a topic of discussion among historians, but it can be said for sure that it did negatively impact the exotic languages and some of the traditions that were in place before that.

Connection, marriage, and the family

The smooth operation of public activity was dependent on strict statute compliance and the activity of connection, which was the significant power to manage relational conduct. A connection is a grouping of social connections communicated in an organic figure of speech using terms such as mother, child, and so on. All Australian Aboriginal people family relationship frameworks were classificatory, which means that a limited number of terms were used to cover every known individual. In this way, terms for lineal family members, such as dad, allude to security family members, such as dad’s siblings. Furthermore, the mother’s sisters were considered mothers.

Native Americans had a wide range of families: everyone with whom one interacted in everyday life was not just arranged and called by a kinfolk term, but the practices between any two individuals were relied on to adjust to what was considered fitting between families so related. An individual in this manner extended regard and yielded to almost all kin of the primary rising age and guaranteed something comparable from all individuals of the age beneath. In any case, these terms did not demonstrate the enthusiastic substance of such connections, and the power of feeling will undoubtedly be more noticeable between direct relationships.

Authority and social control

Native Americans had no bosses or other organised foundations of social or political control. In various ways, Aboriginal social orders demonstrated both level and populist tendencies, yet they were obnoxious; a libertarian ethos prevailed, despite the subordinate status of ladies. Regardless, there is evidence in certain areas, such as upper east Arnhem Land, Bathurst and Melville Islands, western the Cape York Peninsula, and among the Aranda of central Australia, that solid chiefs resembling the Melanesian “Huge Man” existed and that their transcendence in ceremonial matters extended into the mainstream space.

Patriarchy among the Australian Indigenous People

Age and gender were the most important factors in separating status and jobs all over the world, and it was in the strictest field that the best separation occurred. Ladies were barred from the centre of men’s secret sacrosanct ceremonial exercises, and areas of honour were additionally distinguished by a careful acknowledgement of young men and grown-up men as they went through rituals of learning. However, Aboriginal social orders were “open”: there were no friendly hindrances to keep a man from becoming an innovator in strict issues independently.

People of all walks of life rose to prominence as a result of their knowledge of custom execution and ability to coordinate or perform customs. Positions of authority, for example, in Great Sandy Desert customs were situationally resolved. That is, the faculty changed as the customs being performed changed, with the end goal that most senior men embraced such jobs at some stage in the lengthy ceremonial procedures. Regardless of the fact that desert ladies were unquestionably less separated, they had a custom status order. Ladies took orders from, rather than requests to, men with strict issues all over the place.

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