More Than Just a Didgeridoo
When most people think of the Aborigines of Australia, they probably think of boomerangs, didgeridoos, and maybe Ayers Rock. It’s difficult to describe the Aborigines all at once because their traditions and culture vary from region to region. The returning boomerang was only used in south-eastern Australia and the didgeridoo was used along the northern coast. Before the British started colonizing Australia in 1788, there were more than 400 tribes. The groups that lived in the arid interior of the continent were untouched by European influence until the 1940’s.
Some say the Aboriginal culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures because the people have kept up with many of their traditions without being influenced by the incoming European cultures. Up until the 1960’s, the majority of the Aborigines were still using the old methods of using sharpened stone to create necessary products. They have also maintained their religions, which vary from region to region but have the same basic structure. The landscape plays a very important part in Aboriginal religious beliefs and prominent landmarks either represent a deity or something the deity did during the Creation Period. This Creation Period is important to their beliefs because it is the foundation for everything. They also call it the Dreamtime and they believe that dreams are a way of seeing back into the Creation Period.
The culture of the Aborigines is important to Australia because it represents the foundation of their country. Their flag is one of the
Official Flags of Australia. They are proud of their culture and they want the world to be aware of it, but they want to try to keep as much of their ceremony and ritual as secret as possible to preserve their tradition.
20% of the land in Australia belongs to the Aborigines. How would things be different in America if 20% of the land belonged to the Native Americans? Do you think Australia did a better job at preserving the culture of the Aborigines than America did at preserving the culture of the Native Americans? Should the Aborigines be left to their own devices or should they be more integrated into modern life in order to make their lives “easier”?