Aboriginal Culture

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Australia, Australian Aboriginal culture Pages: 7 (2319 words) Published: September 10, 2013
Aboriginal Culture

Australian Aboriginal culture includes a number of practices and ceremonies centered on a belief in the Dreamtime. Reverence for the land and oral traditions are emphasised. Language groupings and tribal divisions exhibit a range of individual cultures. Australian Aboriginal art has existed for thousands of years and ranges from ancient rock art to modern watercolour landscapes. Aboriginal music has developed a number of unique instruments. Contemporary Australian aboriginal music is predominantly of the country music genre. Indigenous Australians did not develop a system of writing. * A Bora is an initiation ceremony in which young boys (Kippas) become men. * A corroboree is a ceremonial meeting for Australian Aboriginal people. * Fire-stick farming, identified by Australian archaeologist Rhys Jones in 1969, is the practice of regularly and systematically burning patches of vegetation used in Central to Northern Australia to facilitate hunting, to reduce the frequency of major bush-fires, and to change the composition of plant and animal species in an area. "Burning off", as it is often called, reduces the fuel-load for a potential major bush fire, while fertilising the ground and increasing the number of young plants, providing additional food for kangaroos and other fauna hunted for meat. It is regarded as good husbandry and "looking after the land" by Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. * A smoking ceremony is a cleansing ritual performed on special occasions. * Tjurunga or churinga are objects of religious significance by Central Australian Aboriginal Arrernte (Aranda, Arundta) groups. Walkabout refers to an unconfirmed but commonly held belief that Australian Aborigines would undergo a rite of passage journey during adolescence by living in the wilderness for six months.

The Dreamtime is a widely used, but not well understood, term describing key aspects of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and life. Following is an extract from an book by Geoff Moore. "Myth, Mystery and Meaning of the Dreamtime". It explores the Dreamtime through elements of philosophy; psychology; spirituality, lore and secrecy that were the basis of the beliefs and practices of pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He is the facilitator of the Australian Aborigines History and Culture Research Project. Aboriginal Dreamtime

"The Aborigines learned about the origins of the tribe through their Dreamtime creation myths, that told of the significant actions of the creators. The myths were the basis of Aboriginal society and were responsible for providing certainty about existence. They contributed to their survival and it is beyond dispute that they survived for thousands of years. The Australian aborigines believed that the land they occupied was once vacuous - empty. This belief was a source of great mystery to them. It was also a great truth that was known with absolute certainty, because the ancestors had said this was the way things once were. Then, during what has become known as the Dreamtime, the land, the sky above and all they contained were formed by the actions of supernatural and mysterious beings. "The concept of the Dreamtime was first researched by Spencer and Gillen in their study of the Arunta (Arrernte) tribe of Central Australia. They came to understand the words Alchera and Aldjeringa, as identifying a 'creative period'. Other tribes had words in their language for the same concept. As communication between the Arunta people and the non-Aboriginal scientists improved, it became apparent to them, that the aborigines understood the Dreamtime as a beginning. Here it is pointed out that there is a significant difference between Aboriginal thinking and that of others. In particular the belief that the Dreamtime is a period on a continuum of past, present and future. "Aboriginal people understood the Dreamtime as a beginning that never ended. In one sense it was the...
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