<ul><li>By Skylar Smith #19 5b </li></ul><ul><li>Aboriginal Tasmanians of Australia </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hello, and welcome to the Aboriginal Tasmanian Tribe of Australia. This presentation will tell you all about these people. Unfortunately, there are no survivors of the tribe - the last of its people died nearly a century ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Still, there are stories that were passed down from generation to generation. Now, I will pass them down to you. </li></ul><ul><li>This slide presentation will be a blast. Come on, don’t be shy. This might just make your day. </li></ul>
Tasmania is located south of Australia in the Southern and South Pacific Ocean
<ul><li>The land of Tasmania wasn’t always separated from Australia. Many aboriginal tribes used to inhabit this giant land some 40,000 years ago. Australia and Tasmania were once connected by a land bridge, but the sea level rose some 14,000 years ago and the Aboriginal Tasmanians were cut off from the mainland. </li></ul><ul><li>The natural borders for these tribes became the sea. There were small islands they could visit using small canoes, but they didn’t have any boats large enough to travel to the mainland of Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>Tasmania has four distinct seasons. There are plenty of fresh water sources available, so plants and wildlife are abundant. </li></ul>History
<ul><li>They didn’t wear a lot of clothing. They mostly wore the kangaroo skins in the winter as clothes to keep warm. When spring, summer, and fall would come around, the Aboriginal Tasmanians wouldn’t wear clothes. Yes, it is different from our culture, but I guess that they just got used to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Most Aboriginal Tasmanians were nomads, meaning they moved from place to place with the seasons. When they travelled from one area to the next, took only what they needed. They made baskets and containers out of grasses. They spent spring and summer months in the High Country inland, where they enjoyed good hunting for kangaroos, wallabies and possums. They headed to the coast for the fall and winter seasons, where they ate seafood like abalone, mussels, oysters and other shellfish, seals and coastal birds. </li></ul><ul><li>There were many tribes or bands on the island consisting of 40 to 50 people in each social group. When they’d cross paths in the inland area during the summer time, they would trade animal skins and shell jewelry for ochre and perhaps food. They also harvested intoxicating gum found only on the plateau. </li></ul><ul><li>Ochre is a pigment that comes from mines and was used for art. Some people colored their skin with it for ceremonies; others used it to make paintings on bark to hang in their dwellings. It is possible that ochre had some medicinal value as well. </li></ul>Life as a Tasmanian Aborigine
A painting on bark featuring six part animal, part human figures. The figures are black with brown and white dots. They are positioned three figures at the top and three figures at the bottom of the painting. Two of the figures at the bottom are holding clapping sticks, the other a didgeridoo. The background consists of white a light brown line markings forming sections of cross hatchings. Wooden sticks are attached to the top and bottom of the painting with string.
Shell necklaces were originally made as an adornment, as gifts and tokens of honor, and as objects to be traded with other sea and land tribes for tools or for ochre used in important ceremonies. Archaeologist Rhys Jones found a cremation within a cultural living place dating back at least 2,000 years containing shells that had been pierced for a necklace. After European colonization, necklaces were also sold or exchanged for food, clothing and other supplies. Tasmanian necklace
One of the last survivors, 'Fanny' (whose name was Wortabowigee), a woman from Port Dalrymple featured in an 1837 portrait by Thomas Bock, wears five loops of what must have been a necklace of astonishing beauty.
A wooden spear thrower colored with pigment. One end narrows and then widens to form a rounded end. The other end has a carved groove 5mm in depth and is wrapped with string and a black resin. The surface is flat and decorated with two bands of yellow, white, red and black line patterns. Next to one of the bands is a white half circle pattern. A spear made of one piece of wood featuring a two prong head, pigmented with brown and three bands of white, yellow and black lines. A wooden spear featuring a bamboo shaft with hafted spear head that has a carved pointed tip. The spear and spear head are pigmented brown with thin bands of white and black paint. Hunting Tools
<ul><li>The Aboriginal Tasmanians would sing songs and tell stories about the past. They shared their knowledge of astronomy, their world, animals, plants and how people were created. Here is the story of how Parlevar, the first aborigine was created. </li></ul><ul><li>A spirit named Moihernee, took some earth from the land up in to the sky. He created a man with a kangaroo tail and no knee joints, so he couldn’t sleep lying down like we do at night. The star spirit, Dromerdeener, decided to help Parlevar by cutting his kangaroo tail off. He rubbed grease on the wound to make it go away, and gave him knee joints. Parlevar was finally able to sit on the ground with his new knee joints. </li></ul><ul><li>” Nyrerae,” Parlevar said happily as he sat down for the first time. (Nyrerae means it is good). A long time passed before Parlevar came out of the sky. He walked down the Milky Way. </li></ul><ul><li>The two gods got in a fight and Moihernee was forced to leave the sky and live on the earth. Fighting many dangerously evil spirits, his wife followed him and slipped into the sea. All of their children fell from the sky with the rain. When Moihernee died, he went to Krib-biggerer and turned to stone. The aborigines believe the large rock that stands on a point near the sea is what’s left of Moihernee. That rock probably still stands there today at Krib-biggerer, the land near Cox Bight. </li></ul>The Story of Parlevar
A drum featuring a hollow wooden log with a carved handle in the middle. The top of the drum is covered with snake skin glued to the rim. The drum is pigmented black with carved triangle design creating black diamond shapes at the bottom and two concentric squares near the handle.
In 1803, the British and Americans arrived and the tables were turned for the Aboriginal Tasmanians. The visitors came with strange equipment that the Aboriginal Tasmanians didn’t know about, like muskets (guns). They came to hunt seals and landed in the Bass Strait islands, where they set up camp. The visitors really liked the camp so much, they decided to move in; that’s how the trouble started. At first, the contact with the Aborigines was friendly. They traded kangaroo skins and shell jewelry for tobacco, flour and tea. Many Tasmanian women and men were highly skilled hunters and traded their services to the sealers during the hunting season. Trade sometimes involved women from other tribes, which indicates they were probably abducted from their tribe. Some women may have been given as ‘gifts’ in an attempt to blend the their cultures. Some women went willingly, others were uncooperative. Those who were uncooperative were treated brutally; beaten, raped and even killed. The Beginning of the End
<ul><li>The new residents also had a different view of how to use the land. They bought plots and claimed the land for their own. Since the Aborigines were mainly nomads, they didn’t always respect these plots of land. They lost access to food sources and would steal from the farmers because they were hungry. </li></ul><ul><li>The conflicts over land rights generally did not go in favor of the Aborigines. They were punished and treated like slaves in many cases. </li></ul><ul><li>As conflicts continued, the sealers started to abduct the women from the tribe. </li></ul><ul><li>The sealers brought many diseases with them. Many people got sick and died from respiratory illnesses, while the survivors ended up becoming sterile from venereal disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the women, in an effort to survive, were ordered to kill the men from their own tribe in the process, which is very sad. Others tried to fight back by killing the sealers. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Summary </li></ul>It seems to me that the Aborigines lived just fine all on their own for tens of thousands of years. In less than 100 years, the colonization of Tasmania wiped them out completely. The British culture and its ‘civilization’ did not allow the Aborigine culture to survive. How sad. The indigenous tribe languages have all been lost. Historians are trying to reconstruct the language using some word lists left behind. May be they didn’t wear clothes because the sunshine kept them warm with the dark skin they had.