- Politics and Social Issues»
- Australia & Pacific Political & Social Issues
Aborigines of Oceana: Australian Aboriginals are First People out of Africa
Sacred Foundation Stories
My favorite scene from the 1983 film of the early US Space Program, The Right Stuff, is the scene in which John Glenn orbits the Earth in Friendship 7 in Australia's night sky, watched by Aborigines and accepted into Dreamtime prophecies fulfilled. These are the legendary spiritual foundation stories of Earth as the Aboriginals, or Koories, have accepted and handed down through an oral traditions and their fine arts through time.
The Dreamtime represents the legendary past of the aborigines, known in anthropology as foundation myths; however, Aboriginals can enter the Dreamtime currently by Dreaming, a specific activity that may include sleep, dreams, medications, and visions.
The Dreamtime of the past was the era in which spirit ancestors traveled throughout the new, flat Earth, providing its physical forms and topographies and delivering societal rules for "the people that were always there" to follow. Some of these spirits were the Fertility Mother or the Great Rainbow Snake governs all life and death, the Djanggawul brothers, and many others that are remembered in today's traditional ceremonies as preserved in Aboriginal culture.
Spirit in the SkyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Particularly interesting is the importance of the Great Snake. It represents origin, DNA, medicine, and healing and is often presented in contemporary Aboriginal fine art coiled, alongside the double helix of DNA.
The Dreamtime is sacred to aborigine people and is taught in a prescribed manner. Some parts and meanings of their foundation stories and ceremonies are open to only to adult males that have experienced certain specific rights of passage. This is rather akin to the 13-year-old Masai youth that must leave his village and slay a lion and bringing back one of its body parts in order to be readmitted to society. What the particular Aboriginal rights of passage in Australia are, we do not know.
UFOs and Spirits in the Dreamtime
Similarly, Aboriginal women have had their own set of sacred ceremonies form which the men have been excluded In fact, there is a regular conference of Women's sacred ceremonies worldwide that is attended by female elders of the Aboriginals and other Indigenous peoples able to attend. This was brought to light by the California journalist Lynn Anderson in her examination of medicine and shamanic practices around the world.
While there are traditions and ceremonies meant solely for men or only for women, there are sacred ceremonies that the entire community attends, including the children.
A Dreamtime Story
Aborigines and Other Indigenous Peoples
As I discovered information, especially in the Digital Age about Circumpolar Peoples, I became increasingly interested in other groups of Indigenous Peoples.
The Circumpolar Peoples migrated around the top of the world, so to speak, and are all genetically related to some extent and most rather closely. It is interesting to find out the facts about whether all peoples on Earth are actually related closely, because they may, or may not be.
Hubbers writing good articles on Hub Pages have contributed additional information about Indigenous Peoples, including knowledge of the theory that the Basque, historically in Spain, have not been closely related to the rest of mankind.
In addition, an overview article related to the Smithsonian Institution's world DNA and human migration tracking put forth the idea that at least one tribe or nation in New Zealand is not closely related to the rest of Earth's people.
On top of all of this, in the late 20th century, early blood type tracking in a now out-of-print self-published book suggested that the builders of Stonehenge were Africans that migrated to what is now the UK; and that this nation moved the stone blocks of Stonehenge from Wales to their present site without help from outsiders. These three bits of information are rather obscure and remain questions to complete.
A 1920s hair sample reveals Aboriginal Australians' explorer origins as the first descendants of early Africans.— Scientific American, 2011
Aboriginal Origins Disputed
According to indigenous legends, The Aborigines were always there in Australia and in New Zealand. Another theory is that they perhaps traveled to Australia 90,000 years ago from Africa. Other theories maintain that African peoples migrated from Egypt to Australia anywhere from 50,000 to 40,000 years ago. However, the name aborigine means Those That Were Always There in their land of Bandaiyan. The culture of the Australian Aboriginals holds that they have resided nowhere else and where placed in Oceana by their Spirit Ancestors.
The global DNA tracking project supported by the Smithsonian Institution has uncovered numerous facts about aboriginal people in Oceana, specifically Australia and New Zealand. In the spring of 2005, It was discovered that a certain tribe of New Zealand Aboriginals possessed DNA that differed enough from that of the rest of mankind that it made them a different species.
No further research has been presented about this phenomenon in New Zealand. As the global migration and DNA project advances through the 21st century, perhaps we will learn that the Aboringals of the Australian Continent and surrounding lands were indeed always there.
A major related study entitled SahulTime is a research project that has created an interactive model of the ancient Australian continent as it existed from perhaps 100,000 years ago. Monash University created this online experience within its six Australian campuses. Monash maintains additional physical sites in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Johannesburg (South Africa). Additionally, Monash University maintains partnerships with the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and with entities in North America and China.
Monash research specialties include projects in avian influenza (bird flu), international security and global terrorism, salinity, global warming/climate change and sustainability, economic development, and racial tension. The last has led to considerable study of the Aboriginals in Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding areas for better understanding and enhanced administration of human rights.
DNA Research of 2011- They Have Indeed Always Been Here
- Hair Sample Yields First Complete Genome of an Aboriginal Australian: Scientific American
A 1920s hair sample reveals Aboriginal Australians' explorer origins as the first descendants of early Africans.
Discovery, Rout, and Recovery
The "discovery" of Australia by western Europeans occurred around 1606 when the Dutch captain William Jansz landed on the continent. He described the people "...savage, cruel, black barbarians who slew some... sailors."
Also in 1606, Luis Vaez de Torres of Spain sailed around the strait that was later named Torres Strait. He called the fat and naked: "... Their arms [weapons] were lances, arrows, and clubs of stone ill fashioned." The Dutch continued to explore the north and west coastline of Australia, but found the land too barren and dry to become their "New Holland."
Over 100 years later, James Cook encountered Australia from the east and named that sector New South Wales, mapping it and bringing maps back to England. England decided to use the new land for a prison colony, exporting the criminal element out of England. The British Crown Colony of New South Wales started at Port Jackson under Captain Arthur Phillip on January 26,1788.
The Aboriginals remained on the continent thereafter the best they could in a multitude of diverse communities, further divided down into smaller communities, each with its unique cultures.
On the Continent of Australia are located descendants of thousands of these early cultures, perhaps as many as contained in North America among Native Americans and First Nations.
Approximately 200 of the indigenous languages of Aboriginals survived into the 21st century. Only around 20 of these languages have been commonly used, leaving the rest to near extinction.
It is difficult to estimate the numbers of Aboriginals living in Australia before they were discovered by the British, but they may have been 1,000,000 strong or more. Unfortunately, the Europeans brought with them several diseases. Smallpox killed over 50% of the Aborigines early on. The ships and sailors that brought disease were called the Death Fleet.
The British Crown began claiming larger portions of Aboriginal land for the Crown Colony, along with the scarce water resources available, causing survival hardships for the natives. Indigenous children were captured and converted to Christianity, while violence against natives killed many of them.
By 1990, Aboriginals were down by 90%. However, through Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples' Rights movements worldwide, the population increased by the early 21st century to over 500,000 individuals, a bit less than 3% of the country's population.
Music and Arts
Spirals As Sacred GeometryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Ancient Rock PaintingsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Many geometric symbols are sacred in the Australian Aboriginal culture. These include the spiraling circle seen in the sand of the picture to the right and above in the Great Snake, that is often portrayed with the double helix of DNA. The double helix is rather a complex geometric symbol, compared to other indigenous art that includes circles, triangles, and other simple figures.
Another sacred symbol is the fractal spiral of some seal shells. The fractal is one of the most complex of geometric figures, because a fractal equation has no measure of error whatsoever - the slightest change in the equation and a completely different figure is produced. Some accept that fractal geometry is one of the foundations of the Universe and all life. Whatever the case, the Aboriginals hold the designs produced by them sacred, especially the spiral. It is representative, on some level, of Creation.
Yothu Yindi - "Dots on the Shell" with Subtitles
Music - The Yirdaki or Didgeridoo
The Aboriginal yirdaki is one of the oldest wind instrument known to man, perhaps older that the Hebrew shofar (ram's horn) and others. Traditionally, the yirdaki could be played only by one large community - the Arnhem Land tribes like Yolngu, and only the men. percussion instruments were allowed for most of the rest of the peoples, and these included clapping sticks and "rain sticks."
The yirdaki is still used in the 21st century. Basiccally, it is made from a hollowed-out tree trunk and a beeswax mouthpiece. It is played by circular breathing, in which the player continually inhales through the nose at the same times he exhales trhough the mouthpiece. it is very difficult to play this instrument correctly, but many CD recordings and MP3-type downloads of the music are available to enjoy. It is on par with the Native American and Japanese traditional flutes.
Yothu Yindi has been an internationally recognized Aboriginal band. The band's name translates to "Mother and Child" and is used by the Yolngu tribe of the Northern Territory's Arnhem Land as a kinship term in their extended families.
Aboriginal Dance in Kuranda, Australia
The Boomerang on Three Continents
Boomerangs have been found in Egypt, in Australia, and among the Navajo Nation in America. The weapons among the three all developed from a flattened throwing stick. Are all three groups of people, therefore, related closely, or was this a case of independent development? The truth is difficult to determine.
King Tut (Tutankhamun) died 2,000+ years ago and owned a collection of boomerangs. These were of two types: 1) straight-flying for hunting and 2) curved for unknown use. Be this as it may, the boomerang was discovered to be over 10,000 years old in Australia. Perhaps it pre-dates the Egyptian variety.
Curiously, the Aborignals are one of the only Indigenous peoples to never have used the bow and arrow. However, each adult male had his own spear and it likely had a type of sacred nature and relationship to the hunter. Aboriginals also used a straight hunting stick known as a kylie.
People, Tribes and Prophecies
The People Known as Pygmies
From explorations in the 1940s through the 1960s, various accounts described tribes or communities of Indigenous Peoples that were very short in height. These were referred to as Pygmies. Located in North Queensland in Australia, these peoples emerged from the rain forests and finally lived in scattered religious missions.
They were studied and their origins were written in text books and a children encyclopedia of aborigines. By the 1990s, these people had all but disappeared and the larger country and world no longer believed that they ever existed at all.
Contemporary encyclopedias speak only of the Djabuganjdji, the Mbarbaram or Barbaram, and the Yidinjdji or Indindji people, amit the fact that the average male was 4'6" in height. Scientist Joseph Birdsell is shown in the accompanying photograph with a full-gown male friend of standard height.
It was Joseph Birdsell that proposed the theory that Aboriginal Australians originated through migration from Africa (likely Egypt, according to Monash University maps) on a northerly route to New Zealand that its region and a southerly route to Australia and its surrounds.
In reviewing the various research literature about Aboriginals in Australia, it seems that the Pygmies were downplayed because they were different and hard to explain, while throwing some sort of monkey wrench into an early Aboriginal-related political movement.
How Many Tribes of Aboriginals Live in Australia?
In 1974, the anthropologist and Australian, Norman B. Tindale (1900 - 1993), wrote his Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes. The catalog may or may not be available online at any time, because of web updates and possible decisions to maintain the catalog as a private exhibit or library holding at the South Australian Museum.
If available online and you access that page, you will find an alphabetical index in the left sidebar. If you click on any letter a page with the tribes beginning with that letter will appear. This includes hundreds of tribes, many with links to extensive information. In the middle of the first page at the above link, you will see an additional link for "tribal map." This leads to a very complex mapping of all of the tribes as of 1974.
Prophecy from Aboriginal Tribal Elder, Guboo T. Thomas
I was in dreamtime. I seen this great wave going. I tell people about this wave. It wasn't a tidal wave. This was a spiritual wave. So, to me, I believe that the Dreamtime is going to be that.
I believe the revival is going to start in Australia when we're Dreaming. It's the hummingbee that I'm talking about. And love. We've got to learn to love one another.
You see, that's really what's going to happen to the earth. We're going to have tidal waves. We're going to have earthquakes.
That's coming because we don't consider this land as our Mother. We've taken away the balance, and we're not putting it back.
© 2008 Patty Inglish