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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Australian Aborigines

The Australian Aborgines originate from any of the 500 groups of indigenous inhabitants who migrated to this region from South Asia about 40,000 years ago.

There were about 300,000 Aborigines living on the continent in small kin-based groups at the time of the first European settlement in 1788. Decimated by diseases new to them and killed by settlers, their number dwindled drastically.

When the Europeans arrived in Australia, Australian Aborigines were cooking bat and lizard meat. Kangaroo-tail soup was considered a delicacy.

The phrase “three dog night”is attributed to Australian Aborigines. It came about because on especially cold nights these nomadic people needed three dogs (dingoes) to keep from freezing.

The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act was enacted in Australia on November 11, 1869. It gave the government control of indigenous people's wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations.

Indigenous Australians weren't considered Australian citizens until 1967. Until this point they were listed as “fauna.. In a May 27, 1967 the people voted overwhelmingly to include Indigenous Australians in the national census and for the government to make laws for their benefit.

The Australian Aboriginal flag, one of the official flags of Australia, was flown for the first time in on July 12, 1971.

On October 26, 1985, the Australian government gave their indigenous peoples a large present. They returned ownership of Ayers Rock (now known by its ancestral name, Uluru) to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines. Uluru been described as a ‘land iceberg’, as most of its bulk lies underground.

The unemployment rate among Aborigines in 1995 was three times the national average, and their average income reached about half. They had an infant mortality rate three times the national average, a suicide rate six times higher, and an adult life expectancy 20 years below the average for Australians generally.

The ancient myths of Australian Aborigines portray the formation of geographical features in Australia, dating to 10,000 BC, with striking accuracy. The myths corroborate modern geological evidence, indicating they originated as firsthand accounts, preserved for millennia.

Genetic study points to Indigenous Australians as the oldest continuous society on Earth.

Source © RM 2011. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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