Most of the people of the world have heard about Aboriginals of Australia. Analysis of maternal genetic lineage say that Aborigines arrived in Australia shortly 50,000 years ago as human populations moved from Africa around 55,000 years ago. They were nomadic people, hunter-gatherers, did not domesticate animals and only had a few tools to hunt. The temporary houses in which they lived were called “Minga” as they wandered around. It is always interesting to know the way people communicated and to know about how the languages developed. There were approximately 300 languages spoken by indigenous in Australia alone. Out of which, only 25 are said to be actively spoken. Surprisingly, none of these languages are written languages.
Currently, the cultural activities are maintained by the surviving Indigenous communities by teaching about cultural, sacred and cogent materials, weaponry, utensils, basketry, indigenous rock art and cave paintings.
Another way to keep the culture alive: the indigenous people spread the knowledge about arts, rituals and performances, speak and teach languages to the new generations. Probably the most well-known place a person knows about Australia is an ancient spiritual and sacred aboriginal site called Uluru, which is a huge monolith, which is presently not allowed to be climbed. Uluru is not to be climbed for several reasons. It is a sacred site for the local, Anangu people, who have formed deep connections with the rock. Tourists must respect the traditions and beliefs of the local people while travelling.
Aboriginals are renowned for the ochre and bark paintings. They cannot paint a story which does not belong to their family. Another imperative fact is that the ancient paintings described stories depicted through symbols (like dots) in order to protect the sacred private knowledge from European settlers. Materials utilized were usually procured locally and naturally in forms of ochre and iron clay pigments. Rock arts and cave paintings are called Dreamtime stories. Dreamtime is often considered as the “Creation Period” when it is said that landforms such as mountains, plants and first animals originated. Aboriginal culture consists of legends connected with the concepts of “the Creation Period” or “the Dreamtime”.
Now, the tours consist of visits to the lakes and mountain caves, ancient art on the cave walls, heritage trails, homestays, historical centre and learning about bush medicines at mostly the Northern parts of Australia, where the descendants of Aborigines reside. With the co-operation of various organisations, aboriginals are managing tours to spread knowledge of their culture to the world.
To know more, please visit the websites below.
Insider Guides on Australian indigenous culture
You can also find the activities included in these cultural tours
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