Aboriginals By: lauren martinez

Aboriginals, Australia's indigenous people, make up about 2% of Australia's total population. There are about 500 different types of Aboriginals in Australia, each with their own developed language and territory.


Natural survival was not an issue for these groups of people. Not only could they administer their environment well by ensuring their steady supply of sustenance by farming yams, but they also had a well established trade system among other tribal groups.

Traveling was a task that seemed effortless for the Aboriginals; they spend their time moving throughout Australia in accordance to the seasons. The most common two places Aboriginals lived was either along the coasts or inland in the bush and desert.


Those living near the coasts built artificial dykes and relied on the ocean for fishing, but the ones that lived inland in either the bush or desert relied on hunting and gathering. Since they were farther away from sea, they were experts in seeking water.

21st century photo of an Aboriginal life.

Aboriginals only spent about 4-5 hours per day working to secure their lifestyle. With little time they spend on labor, a large amount of leisure time is available for them to develop their unique and complex ritual life such as their - language, customs, spirituality, and law.


Aboriginals spirituality is mostly about a close relationship between humans and the land; they believe that humans and nature are the same and on the same level of purpose, per-say, which sets them apart from other religions. Aboriginals presume that some of their own ancestors reincarnated as pieces of nature, for example, rock formations or rivers.


In the Northern Territory of Australia, aboriginal arts included sculptures, baskets, bead work, bark and rock paintings, and rock carvings/paintings found in locations such as, Arnhem Land, Ubirr and Nourlangie. Many of aboriginals make a living through selling their artwork in the past and in present times. Aboriginals are also the creators of the well known Australian instrument, the didgeridoo, which they use in ceremonies during either sunsets, circumcisions, and funerals.


In 1770, Lt. James Cook was instructed to travel to the Southern part of Australia, and if uninhabited, to claim it under property of Britain's King George III; or with the consent of the natives if it was occupied. Cook ignored the fact that the land was populated with the Aboriginals and claimed it anyways.

The invasion introduced unfamiliar diseases to the continent that ended up killing thousands, and others were murdered. In a little over 100 years from the initial invasion, their population reduced from one million to only 60,000 Aboriginals.

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