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The Aborigines - Referat

In the next _15_ minutes I’m going to tell you almost everything you should know about Australian Aborigines.

1) Introduction
The first Australians are known as Aborigines, the word “aboriginal” means “native”. So they are the native Australians. The word comes from the Latin word „ab origine“ what means as far as “from the beginning”. But the word “Aborigine” isn’t used often in Australia; the people there say “Indigenous”. The different tribes have, like the Indians in America, several names. In the north they call themselves “Yolngu”, in the east “Murri”, the southwestern tribes have the name “Koori”. The Aborigines living in the south are the “Nanga”, those who live in the southwest are called “Wonghi”. But there are a lot of more tribes. Aborigines had, long before the white man arrived, an own culture and language. Their life was excellent adapted to Australia.

2) In former times -> the arriving of the Europeans

But then the white man arrived in Australia. The aborigine people had never seen white people until Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay in 1770. I’m sure they were shocked, because they had never known that there was another place on earth than their land. When the Aborigines first saw the ships of the First Fleet enter Botany Bay in 1788 with so many white skinned people they thought they were the spirits of their dead ancestors (after all they were so white). In actual fact these were the first European settlers led by Captain Arthur Phillip. While exploring the new land Captain Phillip was very careful not to offend the Aborigines bad, but Aborigines and the Settlers cultures were so different! They didn't understand each other. When the Aborigines realised that the white men were not the spirits of their dead ancestors and that the settlers were taking more and more of their land and destroying the trees and wild life they began to fight back. The Aborigines killed a number of the settlers. Now the settlers reacted by slaughtering and poisoning the Aborigines and systematically destroying their land and wild animals they lived on. The white settlers also brought diseases the Aborigines had never had before. Diseases which were quite common in Europe at that time. Aborigines caught smallpox and died in great numbers. Within two years smallpox had killed almost half of the Aborigine population around Sydney.
3) Aborigines and their way of life
a) Culture
It is not known from where the Aboriginals began their journey, but it is certain that people with some kind of water craft crossed the 100 to 160 kilometres stretches of water between the islands to the north; and reach the southern continent. As the ice of the Ice Age began to melt, the sea level rose, isolating Australia, and making the sea passages too wide for crossing by the simple forms of watercraft. Nobody knows how long the Aboriginals took to reach Australia, or how they settled the continent when they arrived. At present archaeologists are searching evidence of their history, and each new discovery
in the history is a part of the thousands of years before the white man reached the Great South Land. It is certain that man reached Australia more than 40,000 years ago. Australia, once called the "lost continent of prehistory", is fast losing that title.

The flag is black and red and has a yellow disc in the middle. Black stands for the black skin of the Aborigines, red for the red earth in Australia and yellow for the sun.

Music is a powerful part of Aboriginal culture and is part of everyday life as well as being a vital part of sacred ceremonies. Didgeridoos are the most important one for their music.

b) Religion
The Aborigonal religion is based heavily on the Dreaming. The Dreaming is the Aboriginal creation story. Aborigines believe that at the beginning of time the world was a shapless mass of nothing, waiting to be transformed into what it is today. The mythic beings with the arrival of the ancestors. The ancestors began to travel across the world shaping the landscape and creating new life as they went. Everything in Australia has an aboriginal story to explain it. Aborigines believe that they are constantly living in the Dreaming and that every time they do something they leave an impression on the other reality that is the Dreaming. Ayers rock is an example of a landform shaped by the ancestors. The Aborigines call it Uluru.

4) Aborigines today
My last point is about the Aborigines today. Today the Aborigines are in trouble. Many have left their traditional lifestyle, and have moved to suburbs . There is a 40% unemployment rate in many Aborigines populations. It’s because Aborigines are discriminated against which causes some people not to hire them. Even the police and government discriminate against Aborigines. In many places bars aren't served Aborigines at all. Some progress was made when an Aboriginal woman was voted into Australia parliament. But like the similar situation with Indians in The United Sates recent history, Australia still has a long way to go before Aborigines have equal rights. The Australian government should give land back to an Aboriginal person who wants to live the way his or her people lived before the British arrived.

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