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Gesamtschule Solingen

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befriedigend, Hell, 2014/2015

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Aboriginal lifestyle before and
after british settlements

Das Leben der Aborigines unter
den Britischen Einwanderern

Facharbeit


Inhaltsverzeichnis

1.   Introduction. 2

2.   The Aboriginal Australian before the British settlement 3

2.1.   The lifestyle of the Aborigines 4

2.2.   The Dreamtime. 5

2.3.   The Uluru and the myths 6

3.   The discovery of Australia and his natives 7

3.1.   Conflicts Between Settlers and Natives 9

3.2.   The Stolen Generation. 10

4.   The Australian Aborigines after the settlement 11

4.1.   Judgements 12

4.2.   Flora and Fauna after the settlement 12

5.   Result 13


1.   Introduction

In my case study I am going to answer the question of how the culture was influenced by the settlement and what the consequences for the Aborigines were. I have chosen this topic because I really like the culture and the history of the Australian continent.

My intention is to find out how the culture of the Aboriginal people have Changed under the impact of the settlement wich started 1788. For this I am going to research the historical background of both sides, from the settlers and the indigenous people. I will start with the Aboriginal people, their culture, environment and myths, then I will continue with the settlers, their intentions and behaviour towards the natives and the exploitation of the Australian land.

Then I will going to talk about the result for the indigenous people and their lifestyle, this includes the 'Stolen Generation', the rights they have and their position in the Australian society. Before I  start I am going to say something about Australia itself: Australia was discovered as the last continent in the 17th century by Europeans. However, centuries before it had already been estimated that there would have to be a continent in the south, a Terra Australis.

The name Australia was derived from this Latin expression which means southern country. Australia is the fifth continent and the sixth largest country of the World and also the driest inhabited country. Furthermore it is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. More than one million species of plants and animals are unique to Australia, because of the isolation and late discovery of the country.

Australia is a federation which is made up of six federal states, two mainland territories, the island Tasmania and many smaller islands. Australia is composed of the federal states Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, the island state Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia. Australia impresses not only with its vast deserted Outback, tropical rain forests, its coral reefs and untouched beaches, but also with its unique animal world and also its native population.


2.   The Aboriginal Australian before the British settlement

The Aborigines are the indigenous people of Australia, which have colonized the continent fifty to sixty thousand years ago via Asia. This must have happened during the Ice Age at a time when the sea was below the modern level and only a narrow strait separated the continent from the South-East Asian islands.

How and why exactly they reached Australia is still heavily contested. At the end of the Ice Age the sea level rose and the people were naturally isolated. In time the Aboriginal Australians spread over the entire continent and formed many diverse tribes (also known as clans) which are nowadays classified by their different languages. For example, the clan of the Yolngu lives in the Northern Territory, the Nanga in South Australia, the Nyungar in the southwest, the Murri in the east, the Koori in the southeast and Who.....[read full text]

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The role of the men was to hunt. Usually the prey included kangaroos, ducks, fish, rabbits and occasionally emus. They mostly hunted with spears and boomerangs, which the aborigines invented. Formerly a hunting weapon, it was used in Europe for entertainment and is considered a toy nowadays. Meanwhile women and children were in charge of gathering herbs, fruits, insects, nuts, seeds and roots.

They used to live according to the mantra of: “Not to the person belongs the country, the people belong to the country.“ , as they  felt a spiritual connection to nature.


2.2.             The Dreamtime

An important role and mythological part of Aboriginal culture was the “Dreamtime“ (called Tjurkurrpa in their native languages), which shows some similarities to Christian creation myths. Tribal law as well as the rules for social life is derived from the events of the Dreamtime.

The Aborigines however do not know any gods, their culture focuses on the geography of their lands, which they believe the spirits of the land have assigned to the different clans so they would take care of them. As such, each clan is bound to an area. The myths are closely tied to pieces of wisdom. The music consists mainly of clapping and stomping accompanied by monotone Didgeridoos and slick sticks, at times a thunder stick is swung around a musicians head.  Aboriginal Australians view the Dreamtime as a kind of parallel world which they can enter through ceremonies of songs and dance.

For such dances the men painted their body and copied certain animals or the play of the forces of nature in their dances. The Dreamtime, which not only encompasses the past, but future and present as well, Aboriginal Australians view it as a kind of parallel world which they can enter through ceremonies of songs and dance. All tales combined form the Inma[4] , and since it takes time to pass on all stories and dances, a male Aborigine is considered a man at the age of twenty three.

While the boys have to learn everything the young girls were already married at the age of from eight to twelve years. The marriage ceremony  was infornal and without ceremony. [5]

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Further motifs are hunting scenes which include geometrical patterns[7]. The main colors are black, made from charcoal, white made from clay, red and yellow, made from red chalk and yellow ochre.

These colors were also often used for ceremonial facial paintings, to complement head ornaments.[8]

3.   The discovery of Australia and his natives

The first European who discovered Australia was the Dutchman Willem Janzoon in 1603, but he did not think that he had discovered “Terra Australia Incognati“ (how they called it earlier), he thought he had detect New Guinea. During his shore leaves some of Janzoon's men were killed by the natives.

On account of the loss of its colonies in North America in 1783, Terra Australis was interesting for England because they could build new colonies and get a better strategic position in the Pacific and in East Asia. It also offered itself as a solution to the over-crowded prisons of England something to empty, and therefore the a new established colony was populated with convicts who for the most part could sustain themselves and thus they could begin a new life.

On the 18th of January in 1788 a ship landed in the Botany Bay of Australia , captain of the ship was Arthur Phillip. He had about one thousand people on board from which about seven hundred were prisoners from the crowded prisons of England.

From Botany Bay, Phillips drove to Port Jackson[9][10] which was also discovered and named from James Cook [11] but was no.....

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In 1794 settlers kidnapped children from the Dargu Clan, by September 1794 they had killed at least six of them. “Then, in October 1794, settlers seized a Darug boy, bound him, tortured him by pulling him through fire, threw him into the Haweksbury river , and shot him dead while he was trying to swim to safety.“[12]

The Clan answered violence with violence and attacked the settlers, as a result they killed five settlers in the first half of 1795. That was just one of many bloody wars between the British settlers and the indigenous people.

The natives of Australia were despised by the prisoners of England and were ill-treated. Moreover, the aborigines were looked upon as inferior and were often enslaved. If the colonists settled down in new places, the natives in the way were all were killed, only some were spared and corralled in reserves or sold.[13]

An example of the extermination was the Black Line of 1830 in Tasmania. Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur gave the order to expel the Aborigines on the enclosed island with the help of a chain of people to the British population.

Approximately 10% of the population at the time took part in the chain. Nevertheless, the plan failed, so the missionary Robinson tried to get them to go to a reservation on Flinders Island and he succeeded. However, the natives died there of illnesses and the Tasmanians that survived were allowed to return in 1847.

During the eighty years following 1788, more than 800 ships filled mainly with convicts landed on the coasts of Australia. More than 160.000 exiled prisoners tried to begin a new life in Australia. The concept of "aborigines" was set up in this time by the settling prisoners to name the natives of the fifth continent. Since the word Aborigine is an insult the conflict is coming up on how to call the natives.

The status of the Aborigines was very low for the Britons and thus more and more natives were edged out of their country, were pushed away, killed or put in reservation. According to the orders of the British government, the aborigines should settle there and pursue agriculture to be able to sustain themselves."Nevertheless, this plan was convicted to fail, because the natives could show no agricultural knowledge and depended therefore on other food deliveries of the government.”[14]


3.2.             The Stolen Generation[15]

To integrate the Aboriginal population children were taken away from their families (today it is called "Stolen Generation") and were brought up in white homes, missions or British families. Children often were removed from their familys to get educated as “slogger” and also to stop their parents and their communities from passing on their culture[16].[17] The most stolen children were crossbreed and had one “white” .....

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4.1.             Judgements

In 1992 the Mabo ruling[18] (named after a native who fought for the land rights of Aborigines) lined out specific land rights of the inhabitants.

In 1996 the rights were increased by the Wik judgment[19] and they also referred to the country of private tenants. Therefore about 80% of the Australian continent was reascribed  to the Aborigines.

However, today set-backs still occur over land rights and general discrimination, the land rights are not always taken seriously by the government. Today one cannot say that they are completely integrated.


4.2.             Flora and Fauna after the settlement

The settlement also has results on the flora and fauna of Australia. Because the Britons came to Australia to found a colony, they brought some crops for agriculture. In March, 1803 more than 200 botanical species were introduced and yet the unintentional introduced plants had not been considered.

Most of the plants were used for agricultural purposes and were only advantageous to the colonists. However, some other plants spread so quickly over the continent that  some local plants went extinct. They were also reduced by radical deforestation and the local grass could not flourish in the resulting solar irradiation.

Since the colonialization of Australia by the Europeans approximately 20 mammal and 16 bird species  went extinct and 15 bird and 38 mammal species are on the red list, either strongly endangered or threatened by immediate extinction. The reason for this development lies in the radical destruction of the natural habitat and in the import of foreign species which compete with the local fauna for food and space or hunt local animals.

The introduction of rabbits, overgrown cats, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and horses affected the local an.....

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We live in the 21st century and still there are natives in their own countrys that are not as welcome as they should be. In an era where the world has seen such cruel things happen as the second world war, the holocaust and the genocide of nearly two hundred and fourty thousand natives in Australia should make us all think about what really matters. It is not our skin colour or the culture, it is just the right that everyone has, the right to live.

Fußnotenverzeichnis:

( Footnote register )


         List of different shelter kinds:


·      Huts- A common constructions

·      Simple hollowed- out tree trunk

·      Bark shelters- looks like a modern day tent

·      Windbreakers- allowed Aboriginals to make fires without the wind blowing the fire out

·      Sleeping platforms- provided protection from sun and rain


Victim report:


“However, once removed, so many children were encouraged to abandon and deny their own Aboriginal heritage and language in favour of western values and norms, and the English language:

“My mother and brother could speak our language and my father could speak his. I can't speak my language. Aboriginal people weren't allowed to speak their language while white people were around. They had to go out into the bush or talk their lingoes on their own.

Aboriginal customs like initiation were not allowed. We could not leave Cherbourg to go to Aboriginal traditional festivals. We could have a corroboree if the Protector issued a permit. It was completely up to him. I never had a chance to learn about my traditional and customary way of life when I was on the reserves.” “

Confidential submission 110, Queensland: w.....

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[10]        had been discovered and named by James Cook

[11]        he lived from 1728-1779

[12]        The Australian Frontier Wars, 1788-1838 by John Connor (Book; page 36, line 36)

[13]

[14]        Quotation from ; paragraph 2

[15]

[16] df.

[17] Statistic : “Why were Aboriginal girls taken?“ p. 16 ; Victim report in the attatchment p. 16

[18]        In the Mabo decision, the High Court said that native title had been extinguished on all freehold land and certainly the vast majority of leasehold land. (

[19]        The High Court made an important decision in the Wik case which relates to a claim of native title on land that included pastoral leases granted by the Queensland Government. ( raicismnoway.com )                  .....

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