The Aboriginal Australia
April 22, 2010 1 Comment
The Aboriginal Australia
An aborigine is a first inhabitant of a country. it comes from two Latin words ab origine it means from the beginning. In Australia there is no widely accepted name for aborigines, they are called aboriginals. There are a lot of traditions, customs, cultures, and special characteristics from aboriginal people. This essay will describe firstly the aboriginal art, secondly the aboriginal houses and food, as well as a comparison between the aboriginal food and shelter in the past with in the present day, and finally discussion about the problem of health issues of aboriginal people in Australia.
Art was an essential part of aboriginal life which permeated every aspect, both ceremonial and secular. Roberts (2000) explained, “They are always part of the land and nature as we are. Our connection to all things natural is spiritual” (para.5). The art was an expression of deeply held religious beliefs the record of gossip and hunting.
Long time ago, body painting used ancestral design was the most important part of a ceremonies. While, the most commonly used symbol of body painting are relatively simple, aboriginal people used in detail combinations to tell more stories. For example: a single wavy line shows where a river flows, parallel wavy lines symbolise a path, a kind of U-shaped sticks represents a woman, a straight sticks is a man, concentric circles mean there was a campsite or a meeting place, dots show rain or a lots of ants.
Similar like art, the aboriginal people believed that the ancestral providing all the appropriate created the land and necessary resources needed to support them in their semi-nomadic life style. Hodge (2005) stated,”For Aboriginal people, life is linked to the seasons” (p.8), therefore they were built many different structure suited to their environment. Definitely, they built a wide variety of shelters that varied with the seasons. For example, Wind Break, usually they use to provide protection from sun during the day. It is also protection from breezes at night. These windbreaks were the main form of shelter across the deserts territorities. Also, they built temporary domed huts with grass roofs when the weather turned wet. Some times, they can build robust domed houses, made of a hard wooden frame with a turf covering, to keep out the wet and the cold.
For necessity, their people lived by hunting and gathering various wild foods. Hodge (2005) stated,”Tools crafted with heat were invented for hunting” (p.9). In addition, a man was hunted food by spears, clubs throwing sticks or boomerang, and the women used digging sticks and dishes for gathering food. Recently non-Aboriginal people too have started to discover these fruits and vegetables.
In the past, the functions of shelter for aboriginal people are fundamentally similar with house after colonisation. Neverthless, they used different types of material for structure. Earlier, they using bough and branches for timber frames covered with bark and hides for cladding as a material of shelter. They also used a stones structures such as a caves and natural shelter. Whereas, numerous examples of stones structures can be seen in the present day. Wooden structures are more fragile and survive only in very dry sheltered in land area.
Furthermore, their people lived by hunting and gathering various wild foods before European settlement. In contrast with the present day, there are any a lot of supermarkets have built for the aboriginal people.
Although, in the present day the aboriginal people have lived in urban areas and they can gather some foods at the supermarkets, Neverthless they have a higher rate of ill health. In the past, the diets were rich in nutrients and low in fat. Modern urban diets tend to be high in fat and sugar, but low in nutrition. High fat, low fibre diets have been linked to a number of disorders including obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In conclussion, it is clear that the aboriginal Australia made art with ancestral design, it is also as a symbol that is connected with the spiritual, sorcery, and magic. In addition, it was the important parts of the ceremonies. They also believe the land, house, and food has been created by the ancestral. Although the houses and food are strikingly differences between before European settlement and in the present day.
Robyn H., (2005). Aboriginal Australia (p.8). Carlton, Victoria: Echidna books
Silas R., (2000). Dreaming and the Dreamtime (p.5). Retrieved August 24, 2009, from http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/culture/dreaming.php