The Indigenous Peoples Of Australia Essay

1088 Words May 29th, 2016 5 Pages
Connection, be it to the land, animals, spirits, etc., was very important to the indigenous peoples of Australia. They strived to constantly be in touch with their surroundings, and as a result, some tribes lived semi-nomadically; they followed natural food sources and lived in semi-permanent housing. Perhaps this is the reason that, despite their great strives for connection, the Australian Aboriginal peoples did not form great bonds between their differing cultural groups. Intensely isolated from the rest of the world, this increased separation proved fatal to the cultural community. From an estimated 1 million in number, the population of Australian Aboriginals dropped to around 93 200, taking much of their culture down with them. If the numerous (about 500) different aboriginal communities had banded together in the face of English arrival and colonization, they would have survived better demographically.
Prior to Captain James Cook claiming Australia on behalf of the British Empire, the Australian Aboriginal peoples lived in various groupings, clearly delineated by the areas in which they lived. Land was organized and navigated by use of “songlines,” songs which held the terrain’s natural landmarks and useful markers (such as waterholes) in the rhythms. The lyrics transcended language and could be understood by all, so the same songs could be taught to youth as a rite of passage across Australia. In many ways, land was the most important connecting factor Australian…

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