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Australian Aborigines - Short Essay

By Jalyesa Nov 04, 2012 492 Words
Australian Aborigines
The Australia Aborigine’s culture has always had my attention. From the places they lived to they way they where treated always amazed me. After reading about their rituals, social organization and settlement patterns for the textbook, they are a society of people who are all one. The type of kinship they practice is all is one. For example, if an outsider came to their tribe someone in the tribe would classify that outsider as their mother, and a name that is given to that tribe members real mother will be given to the outsider. According to Scheper-Hughes, N. in the 1993 article: Cephu's choice: Is natural for human beings to want personal liberty? or is it a peculiarly western concern? some conclusions drawn from the indigenous cultures around the world.

“Among Australian aborigines of the Western Desert, each new person comes into the world circumscribed by ancestral origin myths about 'Dreamtime' which structure the world and rigidly define the place of all aboriginal people within it. The myths determine each person's position and the marriage strategies, kinship ties and friendship alliances that each must pursue in adherence to the sacred geography and its accompanying moral economy. 'The Dreaming', wrote William Stanner, 'determines not only what life is, but also what it can be. Life, so to speak, is a one - possibility thing'. In this aboriginal society there is no sense of personal 'agency' fundamental to western notions of liberty and democracy. Nor is there any idea of an individual search for personal salvation which Christian missionaries have tried, but normally failed, to communicate.”

The way Australia Aborigines use kinship affects the way they live, act and think. Since there system is “all is one” they live with the common understanding that they are all under one belief system. This can be compared to when someone in your family marries; the person they marry is now your family. This understanding creates a strong bond between people who are not technical blood related. The thought of people with such a bond helps in battles and growth within a society. In my own society the type of kinship seen in the aborigines can be seen with close family and friends. Our society tends to compare when we know the person or someone we trust knows the outside person. However, unlike the aborigines, our society has shown a way of turning away what is unfamiliar or unlike them. This brings a crack or weakness in our society because our bonds or circles are not as big because of it. I believe we can learn several things from foragers like the Australia Aborigines to make ourselves stronger.


Scheper-Hughes, N. (1993, Cephu's choice: Is natural for human beings to want personal liberty? or is it a peculiarly western concern? some conclusions drawn from the indigenous cultures around the world. New Internationalist, , 11-13. Retrieved from

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