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Indigenous Australian Religion Madison Bell

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Indigenous Australian Religion. Madison Bell. Table of Contents. Basic Overview Geography Culture Dreamtime. Overall Background. Aboriginal - \ Ab`o * rig"i * nal \, a. First; original; indigenous; primitive; native. The term has been used since the 17 th century - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Indigenous Australian Religion

Indigenous Australian ReligionMadison Bell

Table of Contents Basic OverviewGeographyCultureDreamtimeAboriginal - \Ab`o*rig"i*nal\, a. First; original; indigenous; primitive; native.

The term has been used since the 17th century

Aborigines/ Aboriginals offensiveAboriginal Australians or Aboriginal people- correct

Most likely from Asia over 40,000 years ago, but could be as old as 125,000 years!

Make up about 2% of the population Overall BackgroundNo set religion even though Aboriginal people are very spiritual

Dreamtime is based on magic and spirits

Spirit soul/personalitySpirit - quality a courageous or cowardly spiritSpirit supernatural or ghostBackground Cont.European settlementThe First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour under Phillip's command in January 1788. It consisted of eleven ships, 290 marines, women and children, 717 convicts, supplies of pork and rum, equipment and livestock. Its arrival brought an end to the occupation of the land by Aboriginal people as they had traditionally lived. The diaries and journals of the First Fleeters provide descriptions of the locals as "native", "primitive", "barbaric" and even "stupid". There was no recognition that the cultures and social structures of Aboriginal people in Sydney were as rich, diverse and complex as other nations around the world today. Ironically, the first Europeans would rely on Aboriginal knowledge of the area for their survival at various times, and the complexity of the Aboriginal languages is often likened to the complexities of Latin.

3 most common languages among aboriginal tribes:Pitjantjatjara (western dessert)Warlpiri (northern territory)Arrernte (northern territory)

The longest place name is a Pitjantjatjara word:

Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya Hill LanguageMamungkukumpurangkuntjunya Hill is in South Australia and is translated to.

Where the Devil urinates".

aboriginal words used today:Bundi basis for the name Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Bennelong Point (Sydney Opera House) is named after Bennelong an Aboriginal person who was kidnapped by Governor Arthur Philip

Cronulla based on the word Kurranulla meaning 'pink shell'

Before colonization - 200-250 Aboriginal languages spokenAt the time of colonization - 600 languages spokenORThe idea that there is only one language with several dialects.

No written language

Language Cont.Linguistic anthropologist say they originated as far back as the end of the last ice age (around 13,000 years ago.) Existing thinking suggests Aboriginal languages developed from a proto-language that spread through Australia 5000 to 6000 years ago.Dr Mark Clendons new hypothesis suggest 13,000 to 28,000 years ago, when New Guinea and Tasmania were still attached

theories on how old the language is :Pitjantjatara - Largest Arrernte Second largest Luritja- Third largest

3 Tribes were focusing on today:Photo: FlagDesigned by a Luritja man, Harold Thomas

symbol of unity and national identity for Aboriginal people during the land rights movement of the early 1970s

Black: Represents the Aboriginal people of Australia Red: Represents the red earth, the re ochre and a spiritual relation to the landYellow: Represents the Sun, the giver of life and protectorPhoto:*Pitjantjatjara *Arrernte *Luritja Photo: Pitjantjatjara, Arrernte, and Luritja tribes are separated by the MacDonnell Mountains.

Influences contemporary Aboriginal artwork. hold Aboriginal significance because of rock art decorated by these people.

Arrernte rock art can be found in Emily Gap, Jessie Gap, Trephina Gorge, and NDhala Gorge.Photo: Sabrina PerriThe Three SistersThe 3 sisters are part of the Blue Mountain range in New South Wales Territory west of Sydney. 3 sisters is a story of Aboriginal Dreamtime Australian Aborigines Culture

HistoryPrior to colonization which began in January 1788, the Australian Aborigines lived a lifestyle based on their Dreamtime beliefs. They had survived as a race for thousands of years and their lifestyle and cultural practices had remained virtually unchanged during that time. We refer to this as the traditional period.

However colonization imposed changes on the Aborigines as people, who lived in areas that were being settled by the Europeans, were forced off their land as towns and farms were developed. We identify the period in which the changes took place, as the historical period.

During the 1900s separation was an official government policy which lasted for many decades and today, many Aboriginal people do not know their origins. In other words, which tribe they are descended from or the names of their parents and or grandparents. They are a lost generation.


Boomerangs were mostly used as a weapon, but they were also used for a sport. Boomerangs were used to hunt animals such as kangaroos and emu. Boomerangs were made by carving hard wood into a V shape. They would sharpen both edges, making it a deadly hunting weapon. The arms had to be between 90 and 160 degrees for it to work correctly. Didgeridoo is like the natural identity of most all Australian Indigenous people.Didgeridoos are made from the trunks of small eucalyptus trees which have had their centers hollowed out by termites.Didgeridoos are played during ceremonies.Each didgeridoo is like a fingerprint, no two didgeridoos sound completely alike or look alike. boys and girls played a number of games such as running, wrestling, climbing, throwing and ball games. Of course these games were fun, but they also had a serious purpose. They where not simply for amusement, or just a way to entertain the kids.


Symbols Australian Aborigines dont have a written language, they tell their stories by writing symbols on cave walls and in the sand.

Most Aborigines didnt wear clothes. If they did, they wore a belt around their waist , made of animal fur or skin, which they used to carry tolls and weapons. The belts often had a flap in the front. However, Aboriginal people needed to be warm in winter months and did make cloaks which they made from animal skins. They worn them during the day and used them as blankets during the night.Clothing

24Body PaintingBody painting, decoration and personal adornment traditionally carry deep spiritual significance for Australian Aboriginal people. Body painting is carried out within strict conventions that are primarily related to spiritual matters.The particular painting designs are used by individuals to reflect their social position and relationship to their family group and also to particular ancestors.

Aboriginal body Art is a special and necessary part of all Aboriginal ceremonies.

MusicBunggul- Stories of epic journeys Clan songs and song lines- family historyDeath Wail- mourningDidgeridoo- instrumentKrill Krill- song cycleKun-borrk- didgeridooWangga- high note and percussion

DreamtimeDefinition the ancient time of the creation of all things by sacred ancestors, whose spirits continue into the present, as conceived in the mythology of the Australian Aborigines.

Dreamtime StoryThe story of the three sisters is told by Aboriginal people. It is said that there were three sisters who wanted to marry three certain men but in their tribe this was not allowed during their time of war. A medicine man turned the three sisters into the mountain stones to protect them. He was brutally murdered in the war and could not turn the sisters back to their normal state. So, the three sisters remain a part of the Blue Mountain Range forever. Land

The affinity of attachment to a particular area of land by the Aborigines was based on their Dreamtime beliefs, that the land had been created for them by ancestral heroes and heroines. Every rock, tree and waterhole; every animal, bird and insect; the sky above and all it contained were believed to have been created in the Dreamtime.

ReligionThey all trace their origins back to Dreamtime, and believe that their ancestors with supernatural powers roamed the country and left behind impressive rock formations and other natural phenomena which became sacred places for religious celebrations and spiritual activities.

Art facts and Aboriginal MythologyThey were very creative people and expressed their everyday life and religion in arts, song and dance. Their spiritual songs often tell about Dreamtime's ancestors and are accompanied by their famous musical instrument, the Aboriginal didgeridoo.

Didgeridoo Dreamtime of DreamtimeDreamtime ended, no one knows how or why, and time and life, as we know it, began. When the Dreamtime ended, the people were left with a social and cultural heritage which came from their ancestors. All the rites and ceremonies are, and always were, aimed at preserving this heritage.