Who are the aborigines?
• The term aborigines refers to the indigenous
(native) people of Australia.
• The Aborigines are thought to have migrated from
Asia about 30,000 years ago, although some scholars
think it may have been earlier than that (60,000 years
• The Aborigines are one of the oldest groups of
humans on the planet.
• Before the settlement of
Australia by the Europeans, the
Aborigines were hunter/gathers
and live semi-nomadic lives.
• They used throwing weapons
such as spears, and boomerangs
to hunt prey, and gathered wild
plants as food.
History and Culture
• The Aborigines did not have
a written language all their
history and learning was
passed down by stories and
• Storytelling was one of the
ways the older generation
taught the younger.
• Art included cave, and bark
paintings, dot and body
painting. Aboriginals used
symbols to represent natural
Rock Art Bark Painting
Dot painting -
were made in
•One of the earliest
forms of Aboriginal art
•Used in traditional
dances and ceremonies
clans and ancestors
• Music also played a large part in the
culture with one of the most famous
instruments being the Digeridoo.
• It was made from bamboo or
eucalyptus that was hollowed out by
• It is played by buzzing the lips and
using a technique called circular
breathing. It was only allowed to be
played by men.
• How to digeridoo
• The bullroarer,or turndun, is an ancient ritual
musical instrument and means of communicating
over extended distances.
• Bullroarers were used in conjuction with didgeridoos
in initiation ceremonies and to keep away evil spirits
• It was taboo for women, children, non-initiated men
and/or outsiders to even hear a bullroarer.
• The sound they produced was considered to
represent the sound of the Rainbow Serpent or the
voice of Daramulan.
• Communicating with a bullroarer
• The aboriginal religion is based on nature,
humans and nature were on the same level.
• The beginning of time in Aboriginal beliefs is
called “The Dreamtime” or “Dreaming”
• In Dreamtime, “Ancestors” came from below
the earth to form various parts of nature, some
became men, others animals, still others became
rivers, plants, or the sky.
• This is why one of the central beliefs is a deep
respect for nature and all its parts.
• There are about 400,000 aboriginal people in
Australia or about 2% of the population.
• There are about 500 – 600 distinct groups inside