Mike's Australia by Mike Dixon - HTML preview

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6 Aboriginal Australians


Australia's original people have a culture that goes back to the Stone Age.  It's not known exactly when their ancestors first arrived on the Australian continent but good circumstantial evidence indicates that people were here at least forty thousand years ago.  The silly theories about families being washed ashore on tree trunks following tsunamis have been discarded.

The current view is that the first Australians were competent seafarers who made the voyage in boats or rafts.  Australia has never been joined to the Asian mainland and the voyage from the nearest islands would have taken the early settlers far out of the sight of land.

With such a rich culture it is not surprising that visitors from overseas want to visit Aboriginal communities and see something of them.  In the more settled parts of Australia, you won't find people living in anything like the old lifestyle.  They live in houses like everyone else and their kids attend the local schools.  That doesn't mean they don't have a sense of community.  Sometimes this finds expression in the communal ownership of land belonging to their ancestral clans.

They often have visitors centres with museums and displays.  Local tourist offices provide information about these and other activities, including dancing and art.  Many State Art Galleries have major displays featuring work by Aboriginal artists.



The top picture is a rock painting in the Kakadu National Park near Darwin.  Many of the Kakadu paintings date back over thousands of years.  Others are more recent.  The second painting is by a contemporary Aboriginal artist, using modern materials.  It is on display at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.  The third is of a dance troop performing at the Laura Aboriginal Festival (2013).  Search the internet for festivals and other opportunities to experience Aboriginal culture during your visit to Australia.