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Facharbeit: The life of the Aborigines!

Alles zu AUD - Australien Aborigines

Written housework in the compartment English

to the topic
“The life of the Aborigines – Dreamtime &Traditions”
Korbach, the 21st of May, 2007 Yvonne Peuster
Berufliches Gymnasium
der Beruflichen Schulen in Korbach
im Leistungskurs 12.2
bei Ramona Moshage
Index of contents
1. Introduction 3
2. History 4
2.1 Brief description 4
2.2 Ancestry 4
2.3 Arrival of the white settlers 4
2.4 Land and Civil Rights Movement 5
2.5 Situation today 5
3. Culture 6
3.1 Way of living 6
3.2 Traditions 7
3.3 Religion 7
3.4 Dreamtime 8
3.5 Life after death 9
3.6 Art 9
3.7 Music 10
3.8 Prominent Aborigines 11
4. Statement 12
5. List of references 13

The available housework is concerned with the traditions of the Aborigines in particular the Dreamtime.
But in order to understand the Aborigines’ culture you have to deal with the history and their way of living. That is one of the biggest problems
because the white settlers weren't interested in the cultural heritage of the Aborigines they tried to impose them upon their culture. Thus the number of Aborigines sank enormously but in the meantime they have stabilised their total population and rights were awared to them.
I have chosen this topic, because it is important to spread knowledge about the Aborigines and their culture. Only if you can accept the Natives’ traditions, the existing prejudices between the different cultures can be overcome presently.

Brief description
The word Aborigine comes from the Latin and it is composed from “ab” (from) and “origine” (beginning). It rather means “from the beginning there” or “Native”. The white settlers have given this name to the Aborigines as a removing designation for “Indian”.

At excavations near Sydney stone tools were found which prove that the Aborigines have already lived 50,000 years ago on the continent.
But it isn’t definitely established wherefrom they came to Australia. Maybe their origin lays on the Asian continent. During that time the land bridge between Papua New Guinea and Australia was separated only by an about 100 kilometres brood estuary of each other apart. If the Aborigines have got about this way on the continent they are considered as the oldest navigators in the history.

Arrival of the white settlers
Up to 1788, when Captain Arthur Phillip came with the First Fleet into the bay of Sydney the Aborigines’ population grew up to 300,000 inhabitants.
From then on the Aborigines were shot ruthlessly and were kept away by forces from their water holes. There were a lot of diseases and plagues, because the introduced animals of the settlers had polluted the water.
In Tasmania the Natives' wiping out ended in 1876 with the death of Truganini, the last Aborigine there. At the end of the 19th century the missionaires established reservations for the Aborigines.
The Aborigines’ traditions and habits were not respected and even forbidden. However, they were not able to integrate the Aborigines, because material values are irrelevant to them.
Land- and Civil Rights Movement
First in 1967, when 300 reservations existed and the Aborigines’ population was shrunken extremely, they assured total civil rights to the Natives. Since then they were allowed to decide if they want to live on the reservations or to pursue their old traditional way of living. They have also the possibility to fit in the modern Australian society.
The Aborigines’ new self-confidence made the establishment of a civil rights movement possible according to the role model of the Blacks in the USA. Another step forward was the Land Rights Act“ in 1976. The possession of their reservations was assured to the Aborigines and they received claim to tradition space lying outside. In 1985 the property of the national park of Uluru/ Kata Tjuta and Kakadu was given to the Aborigines, wherefore the Ayers Rock belongs to.

Situation today
Nowadays racial discrimination of the Natives of Australia is noticeable. Many Aborigines stand on the lowest step of the social structure and are addicted to alcohol. But more and more the Australians develop to a society in which the traditions of all members should be respected. Furthermore, in the foreign publicity the Aborigines’ culture has produced interests, for example during the Olympic Games in 1999. Perhaps it is a progress regulating the communication between the Whites and the Aborigines.
But for all that they have found some pride. A few of them try to live in the old and traditional way. A sign to this return is their own flag in black, red and yellow. It stands for black skin, red earth and yellow sun.
3. Culture

Way of living
The Aborigines whole life is related to the forces of nature. The difference to many other cultures is that the Aborigines regard themselves as a part of nature. Items like landholding are totally foreign to them, because their “land” means the area which they have perambulated over the years. It gives everything to them which they need, for example food or water.
The nature supplies them whom can understand it a multiplicity of marks. So it can show the way to water or to food.
The Aborigines owe their survival in the wilderness to the constant mental dialogue between human being and nature. With their idea only to take the most necessary they weren’t able to take the life of a species of plant.
The Family is the Aborigines’ most important social structure. Not only biological relatives belong to their family but also mythologic ancestors. As the Aborigines live in very dry regions their clans are very small groups. In the short time of strong fall of rain the clans come together to meetings and for example they arrange marriages. Besides spiritual ceremonial dances belong to these conventions.
An important role to the nourishment plays insects, but also epigeal and tubers.
Additionally with the aid of the boomerang, a heavy piece of wood, they hunt animals. They used lances, too, but their tools were always made of wood or stone.

The sense of the meetings is, first of all, the preservation of traditions and the transfer of the cultural und social bequest. These traditional values are often called Dreamtime and they are filed in singings and dances. All these dances tell a more or less long history and the characters are from the Dreamtime. All stories together arise the Inma, a collection of maxims.
A hovel in which the Aborigines live

Spread in almost all tribes is a religion which has developed itself during the Dreamtime. It is a realm in which mystic creatures and old ancestors live. The Aborigines' estimation is turned into the past. One of the most important forms of the Natives mythology is the rainbow snake.
It is a fertility spirit and male and female at the same time. According to the Genesis it comes out of the river and is considered as a creator and destroyer. The Dreamtime is not only connected with the past but also with the creatures in present.

A central role in the Aborigines' existence plays the mythical epoch of the world creation whereon the Natives’ religion and the culture is based. After the latest knowledge their Genesis and their worldview are about 150,000 years old. They mention the powers which have created the world their “Creative Ancestors”.
They are convinced that only the ancestors’ view could create our world as well as it is. During the so-called Dreamtime the ancestors moved over the earth and gave her the visible form of the natural process. In this way they created animals, plants and finally the humans. All creatures were created at the same moment and they could change into another one.
These transformations went back and forth, depending on how the stories of the Dreamtime asked. Everything came from the same source, because of the dreams and acts of the big ancestors.
All phases of the Dreamtime were current at the same time and when the world has accepted their form, the ancestors became tired and went back in all things which they had made. These tramps are retained in the whole life of the Aborigines and they keep them faithfully.
For the Aborigines each part of the day reflects the history of the creation. Every day they live into recollection when which place was created.
In the stories of the Aborigine' tribes the ancestors adventured new things and discovered behaviour which brought either luck or devastation.
The unity of a combined world obligated the Aborigines to respect
earth and to revere it.
Their aim of life is to retain the earth as far as in her possible purity.
Each part of the creation is based on dreams, attractions and aversions – exactly like us human beings. These aspects point to a world in which the metaphysical and the physical are tied together symbolically to each other. It implies that you can regard the visible world to relation to the invisible one.
But like every creation myth the stories about the Dreamtime cannot
be proved. The relevance of a creation myth is determined by the effect
to the people as well as by their position in the universe.
By this mythology was fed a culture which lives harmony with nature and it is full of force and joy of life.
The rainbow snake

Life after the death
For the Aborigines the death is the climax of life, because the spiritual connection is only possible with it. With crossing the opposite life the mental part is separated from the physical one. Through the death the spirit returns to its original root.
The burial rituals concentrate on the spirit of the old person. These ceremonies are individual to the person. Beside burials there are also mummifications, combustions or coffin funerals in hollow trees.
In order to loose the spirit of the person finally from its cover, the dead man’s name may not be pronounced for years. Therefore, the sorrow is particularly strongly realized at the night after his death, for example, by lacerations which the mourning add to themselves.
If the defunct find its place in the dream world he can become a part of his tribe again when he finds entrance into the daily ceremonies of the clan.

The deep spirituality also is shown in the music and painting, but naturally also in the dances of the Natives. Particularly the rock painting is important. These drawings are made as a mnemonic and their motives are human and animal slapes, spirits and salient landscape.
Many paintings are made in the X-raying's style. That means that you also can see the inside organs of the forms. The point painting is spread far. However, the drawings weren't concluded for a long time, because they are reworked by younger generations. As important as the rock painting are the painting on bark, the ground painting and the aggravations on cult devices.

The typical musical instrument for the Australian native population is the Didgeridoo. This wind instrument is produced by thick hollow tree trunks from the eucalyptus tree. The mouthpiece is manufactured from beeswax. With growing interest the Didgeridoo has also found entry in the jazz- and pop – music.
Didgeridoo with beeswax mouthpiece

Prominent Aborigines
Yothu Yindi is an Australian band and they consist of Aborigines and Europeans. The name means in the language of the Yolngu “child and mother”. They play traditional music of their homecountry and quite normal pop music and rock music.
So they often mix in a song both music styles and modern musical instruments were used like the guitar and drums together with the Didgeridoos.
Important to all members of the group is the mutual respect and the understanding of the different cultures. Therefore is their song “Treaty” from 1991. The Australian post office published to the title even a postage stamp. In 1992 the singer of the band, Mandawuy Yunupingu, was appointed to the “Australian of the year”, because he has exerted himself for better communication of both cultures.

4. Statement
Of course, there are more interesting and important aspects about the life of the Aborigines. For example, you should necessarily know that the explorers always excepted that the Aborigines descend from different immigrant-populations.
But now explorers from Estonia disproved this thesis. They compared the DNA of the Aborigines with that of the Natives of Papua New Guinea, the Melanesian. So they found out that these both cultures descend from one single immigrant-group from Africa.
Besides, there are naturally more Prominent Aborigines who are not only musicians but also politicians, artists, authors or sportsmen like the boxer Lionel Rose or Graham Farmer who was one of the most famous players in Australian Football.

The boxer Lionel Rose
I hope that I have roused the interest about the Aborigines’ culture in the readers of my housework and I have already given a general insight into their life and their traditions.
It would be desirable that more and more people deal them with this topic and spread knowledge about it.
A tip of mine: Listen yourself to the music of Yothu Yindi or read a book which tells a history of the Aborigines. Perhaps that is addressing to you and so you find a connection to the Natives of Australia.
5. List of references
( Brockhaus Multimedial
( Book „Traumfänger“ by Marlo Morgan
ISBN: 3-442-43740-7
Original edition from 1998
2.279 Wörter
- 13 -
Schwerpunkt der FA liegt bei der Dreamtime und den Traditionen der Aborigines, z.B. Musik, Religion und Kunst.Die heutige Situation der australischen Ureinwohner wird dargestellt und ein Einblick auf ihr früheres Leben, bevor die Siedler kamen, gegeben. (2249 Wörter)
von unbekannt
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