Aboriginal Australia module 4 discussion

Due to its isolation from the rest of the world, Australia was an uninhabited island until about 60,000 years ago. The Aboriginal Australians lived with a strong dependence on the land, and also the water. Each group developed skills for the area in which they would live – hunting or fishing or gathering. Australians never developed an "iron age", "bronze age", or pottery, and the terms "palaeolithic" (old stone age) and "neolithic" (new stone age) are not used in Australia, because stone technology did not progress in the same way as the rest of the world. They used stone tool technology and painting with red ochre pigment.

For thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans, northern Sydney was occupied by different Aboriginal clans. Living primarily along the foreshores of the harbor, they fished and hunted in the waters and hinterlands of the area, and harvested food from the surrounding bush. Self-sufficient and harmonious, they had no need to travel far from their lands, since the resources about them were so abundant, and trade with other tribal groups was well established. Moving throughout their country in accordance with the seasons, people only needed to spend about 4-5 hours per day working to ensure their survival. With such a large amount of leisure time available, they developed a rich and complex ritual life – language, customs, spirituality and the law – the heart of which was connection to the land.

Genetic and linguistic data connect the indigenous people of this continent with ancient northeast Asians. Archeological and linguistic data has enabled scholars to discover some of the migrations within the Americas. Although both Indonesia and Australia are multicultural countries, multiculturalism means different things in each. In Indonesia, multiculturalism refers to a variety of different cultures living together. In Australia, multiculturalism basically means a lot of people with different colored faces living together. In policy, the Australian government strongly supports policies of migrants maintaining their identities, but in practice, these identities are usually left behind far more rapidly than is seen in Indonesia.

It is hard to compare different civilizations, who after all lived in a variety of different environments and developed very different cultures. First, most aboriginal Australians practiced hunting and gathering, which contributed to a very mobile society with a fairly equal social structure. Not all Native Americans lived this way, but many did, at least at the time of European influence. The Micmacs, for instance, who lived in what is now Nova Scotia, collected shellfish, lobsters, fish, and sea mammals, a lifestyle which had much in common with people who lived along the southern coast of Australia and in Tasmania. Another similarity, at least for some Indian peoples, would be religion. Many Native Americans, including some who lived in settled agricultural societies, held a view of religion that can be described as animist, much like Australians. They believed that spirits were immanent in nature, rather than inhabiting a separate realm from people

  1. Rrteacher. "Please Compare and Contrast the Culture of the Aboriginal Australians with the Native Americans." Enotes.com. Enotes.com, 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2017. <https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/please-compare-contrast-history-culture-aboriginal-373122>.
  2. Welch, David M. "Introduction." Aboriginal Culture - Introduction to Australia's Aboriginal Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2017. <http://www.aboriginalculture.com.au/introduction.shtml>.
  3. "A Brief Aboriginal History." Aboriginal Heritage Office. Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2006. Web. 17 Feb. 2017. <http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/history/history/>.
  4. Briney, Amanda. "Geography of Australia." About.com Education. N.p., 21 July 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2017. <http://geography.about.com/od/australiamaps/a/australia-geography.htm>.


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