Australian culture is the oldest continuous culture in the
It used to be thought that indigenous people had been living in
for 40,000 years, today it is believed they have been here for at least
Aboriginal Australian Culture: Social Organisation
lived in different parts of Australia in different tribes. These tribes
are also called “nations” or “language groups”, because they spoke
different languages. There were hundreds of different language groups
and most people could speak at least a few different languages. The
different tribes sometimes got together on large ceremonies, but they
were “different people”. You can almost compare this to different
countries. They didn’t normally cross the
borders to other peoples’ territories for no reason.
Aboriginal culture by Alexis via Flickr.com
Culture: Social Organisation
Within each tribe, there were different clans. You can almost compare
this to different shires within a country, as each had their own
territory. When women got married to a member of a different clan, they
left their own clan and went to live in their husband’s clan. Within
each clan, there were different family groups. These usually consisted
of a few families, or an extended family. People within each family
group gathered together for everyday activities, hunting
Aboriginal Australian Culture: What Is Kinship?
Aboriginal people had complex social and family laws. Every person had
their position and obligations in the society, and in a family group.
Kinship was one of the main principles in their society. Kinship puts
all the people in a relationship to each other. In a family group for
example, a mother would call all her nieces and nephews her daughters
and sons. This is reciprocal so those kids would all call her their
mother (as well as their own mother of course). That means they had
similar obligations to them as they had to their own mother, and the
aunties had similar obligations towards the nieces and nephews, as they
had to their own kids. This can be seen today in the modern society in
Aboriginal People often call their friends brothers and sisters.
Australian Aboriginal Culture Today
During the past 200 years, big changes have been happening to
When first Europeans came to Australia, numbers of indigenous people
were reduced by 90% - only 10% remains today of the amount of people
that were there in the 1700s. This was mainly due to European diseases
violence. Those who survived were not able to continue with their
traditional way of hunting and gathering due to European laws and the
fact that the land was taken off them. They all gradually became
dependent on Europeans for their livelihood.
Aboriginal Australian Culture and the Stolen Generation
Many families were broken in the stolen
in the 1900s, and many Aboriginal people today have grown up with their
European foster parents. Today there are roughly three
different ways they live: there are the remote communities that still
pretty much live in the traditional way, even though they now get
around by a 4WD. There are the ones in the big cities who have it hard
suit into the society. And there are the ones in between, who have left
their traditional culture and live in the modern way but are able to
livelihood from their art
and organise Aboriginal culture tours for
tourists and travellers. A lot of the rich and complex culture that had
survived for 60,000 years has
been changed and much has surely gone lost, because there was no
written Aboriginal language – all the knowledge was passed on through
generations by storytelling, songs and dance. Today, most Aboriginal
People speak English to each other, and it is important to make sure
their culture will be preserved.
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