The Aborigines are the native people of Australia. They have been living there for over 50.000 years and have their own culture of celebrations, painting, weapons and music. In 1770 300 thousand Aborigines lived in 500 separate tribes. In this time James Cook claimed Australia to a colony of Great Britain. But the settlers and the native Australians didn't like each other. The settlers who were better armed killed the native Australians and many tribes died out. But they get other problems that were alcoholism and for the native Australian unknown illness.
The Aborigines didn't have any civil rights at the beginning, they weren't allowed to vote or to own land. The settlers also could do to them what they wanted.
Only after 1967 the native Australian people became civil rights from the white Australian government.
In the 1990s many natives and half-caste lived in their reservations or on the edge of the big cities like Melbourne or Sydney. But they had many problems with unemployment, poverty and alcoholism!
Now the government wants to start programmes to assimilate the Aborigines into the civil population. But the Aborigines protest against the assimilation. They want to be accepted in their own culture and own way of live. They want to keep their traditions.
The Aborigines have their own music. It consists of several sounds and rhythms of didgeridoos, drums, sound sticks and other rhythmic instruments joining their singing.
The native Australians are a group of people which paint most of the things they have. They paint their didgeridoos, their skin or other things of day life made of wood, tree-rind or stone. They use the "Dot-painting" by using little sticks or "the cross-and hatch-painting" by using grass with many different colours. The most of their paintings show symbols or animals of their country for example koala bears, snakes, kangaroos and turtles.
They believe in the "Dreamtime". That means that in this time their ancestors went over the whole world and made all mountains, valleys, rivers, trees and animals. So the Aborigines have great respect to the whole nature. And that is the reason why they cannot understand the culture of the white man.
The Aborigines live in the Outback. That means they live in the middle of Australia, in an area like a desert. Many of them are still hunters and use weapons like a boomerang or a spear for hunting. The boomerang is a piece of wood so specially formed, that it comes back whenever you throw it away. The spear is a long wooden stick with a sharp tip. The Aborigines throw it to an animal which they want to kill.