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Published: March 21st 2015
The Aboriginal Flag
Black is for the color of their skin; red represents the dessert sands and the blood spilt in the struggles for freedom; yellow is the sun, which is the source of all life.
Australia, the largest island-continent, had been inhabited for nearly 60,000 years by Aborigines, who migrated from Southeast Asia during the ice age,
This was before the sea levels rose and isolated Australia from the rest of Asia. it is believed that Aborigines flourished for tens of thousands of years, free of outside influences. Their were many tribal groups, speaking at least 200 different languages. Their common bond was their spiritual beliefs.
At the height of their culture, there may have been 500,000-1,000,000. The arrival of the Europeans quickly changed their isolation.
They were described by the first explorers as 'wandering bands of savages still living in the Stone Age.' This perception was the beginning of a deep and long lasting misconception. They need a voice and their history needs to be told, so here goes!
The early settlers remarked, ' they were far more happier than we Europeans'. 'They seem to set no value upon anything we we gave them, nor would they ever part with anything of their own for any article we could offer them'. The ceremonies of the Indigenous Australians make life rise up from the land, travel along it, and go down into the soil
again. Their philosophy emphasises the spiritual over the material, though the spiritual is not transcendent; it exists in the here and now, in parallel with our everyday human lives.'
The Aboriginal's traveled for many seasons within a defined geographical region. They traveled for food and met at certain places to perform ceremonies.Only essential tools would be carried. Women usually had a digging stick looking for yams and for killing small animals. Men would use spears and boomerangs for killing birds and small animals. Juvenile animals were forbidden to be killed. Children live in extended families until they become adolescent. Boys begin to leave the woman's camp and join the men's expeditions upon puberty.
Their dress was very simple, if they wore anything. In the colder regions they'd wear clothes from kangaroo or possum skin. Women would cut their hair and make belts for their spouse.
As the white settlers came and killed off much of the kangaroos, game and fish, they had less to eat. Thousands died from diseases brought by the settlers and they could not adapt to alcohol, which was also introduced to them. The destiny of the tribes changed drastically, they soon lost their
She told us about the roots, plants and herbs that are gathered from the rain forest and used for medicinal and healing purposes
freedom. They were chased off their lands, poisoned and massacred. They became invisible people. They began to work for setttlers as farmers and doing odd jobs. At the beginning of the 20th century, a German missionary recommended that rhey not have any racial mixing, that they be placed in protected areas, away from whites. They were traded like cattle.
Once Australia became a nation in 1901, thousands of children were forcibly removed from their families , placed in orphanages, or forced to be slaves for white people. These practices continued till 1967, when these injustices were stopped by a referendum that finally gave Aborigines legislative protection. They were finally allowed to be counted in the federal census, they were finally able to.begin gaining rights to their land. They designed their own flag in 1972: black for the color of their skin, red represents the desert sands and the blood spilt in the struggles for their freedom, yellow for the sun.
They fought in both World Wars, have been participating in the Olympics. As a matter of fact, Sydney hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the opening ceremony, the Indigenous people were recognized and the torch was carried by
an Indigenous athlete, ABORIGINAL Australia was the underlying theme throughout.
The past 30 years have seen many musicians, artists, including primitive art, have become a financial success.
I spent a day at the Tjapukai Cultural Center with the rain forest people who have lived in the Cairns region for thousands of years. The told us about how the rain forest provided all necessary medicines. They demonstrated the boomerang and spear and explained how they were used for hunting and killing game. They spoke about their many ceremonies and played several instruments, that were played in their ceremonies, especially the didgeridoo. They sang and.performed dances, and appeared to be a happy people. Aboriginal art work has become very popular and many communities have art co-operatives run by agents who manage materials, sales and commissions.
Their are so many Indigenous people around the world, who have suffered similar abuses. Look what was done to the American Indian.............
If you've gotten this far, I thank you for reading all of my blog and I hope you've come.away with knowledge and compassion for all Indigenous people.
Please scroll down to see all photos. Thank you!
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