The Australian Aborigines had surnames

Aborigines: interesting facts about the indigenous people of Australia

The Aboriginal are Australia's natives and are estimated to have lived on the Red Continent for around 50,000 years. Aborigine is derived from the Latin "ab origine" and means something like "from the beginning". According to the latest studies, it is believed that they reached the coast of Australia via Southeast Asia and were thus the first immigrants from Down Under. At that time the sea level was still significantly lower, which made it possible in the first place to get to Australia via Indonesia. The Aborigines, politically correct called "Aboriginal People" or "Indigenous People", are a very small people who have never really increased in size and lived in smaller tribes (clans) rather than in large communities. Since the natives of Australia see the name Aborigines as derogatory, they give themselves names in their own language according to their habitat: Yolngu (north), Murri (east), Koori (southeast), Nanga (south), Nyungar (southwest), Wonghi ( West). Today most of the Aboriginal people live in the Northern Territory.


Australian Aboriginal History & Philosophy

After the arrival of the white conquistadors in 1788, the situation of the Aborigines deteriorated. According to estimates, the number of the indigenous population decreased from around half a million to just 60,000 by 1920. The introduction of influenza and smallpox epidemics had devastating consequences. But the birth rate also decreased significantly over the years, as sterility among women due to sexually transmitted diseases caused by prostitution increased sharply. But also some violent clashes between settlers and the Aborigines cost many lives. Furthermore, the indigenous people were robbed of their livelihood, as large herds of cattle and sheep now claimed the few water holes for themselves.

On top of that, the land was taken from the indigenous people and they were penned into reservations. From the beginning of the 20th century until 1969, the Australian government even encouraged Aboriginal children to be taken from their families to be raised as adoptive children in Australian families or missions according to “white values ​​and morals”. The official name of the child robbery is "Stolen Generation" (stolen generation) and affected up to 30% of all Aboriginal children. Since 1998 there has been the so-called "National Sorry Day" on May 26th every year, an unofficial Australian holiday on which the government and the population apologize to the Aborigines for the 35,000 stolen children.


Dream time of the indigenous people

The so-called dreamtime ("Dreamtime") shaped the spiritual life of the aborigines of Australia. It is a beautiful, metaphorical representation of the all-unity thought (monism) that still exists in many primitive peoples today. No special deity is worshiped, but the world is viewed as a whole, infinite being. Thus the dream time is referred to as the world of the creative ancestors and therefore stands for the all-embracing existence. In Aboriginal mythology, it is the rainbow snake that symbolizes the unity of spirit and matter. There are different dream paths that are all interrelated.

The goal of the Aborigines is, similar to some forms of Buddhism and Hinduism, to always expand the mind and to merge with being. The world of duality ceases to exist and the dream begins to manifest in life. Pain, joy, sexuality and ecstasy are unconditionally accepted for this reason, as this is the only way to enter the world of dream time. In aboriginal reality there are three worlds, all of which are interrelated: the world of the unborn, the living, and the dead. If one understands the unity of the indigenous population, it quickly becomes clear why there were no hierarchies in their social life. Unfortunately the dream time does not play a big role for a large part of the Aborigines nowadays, as the modern life of the western world has displaced the spiritual being of the Australian natives more and more.


Didgeridoo & boomerang

The Aborigines are known to have developed the didgeridoo several thousand years ago. Over time, the wind instrument has established itself all over the world and is increasingly being used in modern music genres such as rock, pop or techno. The Australian band Yothu Yindi, which uses the didgeridoo in addition to guitar and drums, has achieved a high level of international recognition. Furthermore, the boomerang is often mentioned in the same breath as the indigenous people of the red continent, as the original hunting weapon was an important tool in their everyday use. Although the oldest boomerang found so far comes from the Carpathian Mountains, the object used today as a piece of sports equipment is often associated with the Aborigines. It may be because Captain James Cook presented the first model from Australia to Europe after his South Seas voyage in 1771.


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