Thursday, September 1, 2011

Australian Aborigines

Who are the Australian Aborigines?

Australian Aborigines is a term commonly used to refer to the Aboriginal people and the islanders from the Torres Strait. These natives make up 2.4% of Australia's modern population. They reside in the Australian mainland, neighboring Tasmania and the adjacent islands. The Torres Strait islanders live between Australia and New Guinea. These natives are believed to have arrived on the islands nearly 70,000 years ago! The term Australian Aborigines includes members of different communities and societies, with unique cultures. These natives of Australia actually speak over 250 languages and dialects, of which the world has considered 20 to be endangered. The Aboriginal society is not a single social entity – the component segments differ in modes of subsistence, culture and language.

Australian Aborigines Culture

The Australian Aborigines display a large number of divisions between tribes and the linguist grouping pattern. On account of this, there are subsequent varieties of diverse cultural practices, only sometimes showing any sign of similarity. Religious demography census reports that 72% Australian Aborigines practiced a ‘form’ of Christianity – near and yet not, while 16% did not profess any religion. Today the community is witnessing an increase in the number of members following Islam. Among the Australian Aborigines, religious values and oral tradition are based upon reverence for the islands and the want-sufficing nature of all inhabitants. Earlier, the different groups exhibited individual culture, belief and language.

Australian Aboriginal art and paintings:

Australia’s culture is rich with the tradition of Aboriginal art. The art forms date back to more than thousands of years. The rock art and bark painting display the Australian Aborigines in harmony with nature. This relationship between the people and their environment is most visible in the use of earthly colors in the paintings, most of which are made from ochre. Things have changed and today the modern Aboriginal artists continue the tradition, but with the use of the versatile modern materials. The watercolor paintings of the Hermannsburg School, the dot art paintings and those by Albert Namatjira. In fact, not only does original Australian Aboriginal art have a lobby of international patrons, but it also is the a large source of income for some of the Australian communities. Australian Aboriginal poetry delves deep within the realms of sacred ferver to daily reverence to Mother Earth. The ‘Three Faces of Love’, The Honey Ant men's love song’ and ‘Little Eva at Moonlight Creek’ are some great compilations.

Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines today:

The Australian Aborigines are mostly urbanized now. The health and economic difficulties are substantial, with adverse ratings on the social indicators like education, unemployment and poverty. There is now a political shift, more of mutual obligation rather than self determination. The world at large has realized that it is time to recognize their distinctiveness of identity and help them to preserve their heritage. Politically speaking, two Indigenous Australians have managed to bag seats in the Australian Parliament, Neville Bonner and Aden Ridgeway, till 2005. Among the names of the Prominent Australian Aborigines are names of the former captain of the Australian National Rugby League Team, Arthur Beeton; Olympic athelete Cathy Freeman and actor David Gulpilil, among a myriad of others.

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