Experience Aboriginal Culture in Australia
By Jennifer Schillington 2009
As part of your trip to Australia, you must make sure you experience some Aboriginal Culture.
Before the British and European settlers arrived to Australia, the only inhabiters were Aboriginal. The word Aboriginal or Aborigine means Indigenous to Australia.
Believe it or not, there were more than 300,000 Aboriginals in Australia before the European Settlement. With settlement, brought Old World diseases which the Aborigines could not cope with so many died. To make matters worse, they weren’t awarded any rights to the land so they were pushed out to make way for the Europeans.
Nowadays, Aborigines account for just 3% of the Australian population and many suffer from alcohol and poor health problems. But there are pockets within Australia where you can still see their old values and traditions which are very interesting indeed. There are certain places, such as Ayers Rock, that are very sacred to the Aboriginal community. These are key places to learn more about Aboriginal culture and beliefs.
Aboriginal Culture is complex with many beliefs and hidden layers to explore. Music and Art are however the most well known aspects. Did you know that the Didgeridoo is only used by those from the East? It is the clapping sticks which are more widely used by the Aboriginals.
Rock Art is the oldest of the Aboriginal Arts and can be found in places such as Ayers Rock and Kakadu National Park as these are sacred Aboriginal lands. It is the dot paintings that are particularly popular with tourists and these are generally easy to find throughout Australia.
Where To Experience Aboriginal Australia
There are lots of places you can go to learn about the Aboriginal Culture. There is not room in this article to explore them all. Arnhem Land which is near Darwin in the top end of Australia is in my opinion the best place to go. Numbers are restricted to this sacred area so you can guarantee a less touristy approach. You really do get to appreciate the real culture and see real Aboriginals dot painting and making crafts. You can easily incorporate a day trip here as part of your trip to Darwin or Kakadu National Park and I highly recommend it. Remember that this area has defined seasons so only come here between May and October.
If you want to incorporate some Aborigine experience into the more visited areas try the blue mountains walkabout tour as part of your trip to Sydney. The Rocks Half Day Dreaming tour which is taken by an Aboriginal Elder, Margaret Campbell is also very good.
As the Aboriginals would say, lets go Walkabout. Discover Aboriginal Australia and see Australia in a whole new light.
Jennifer Schillington has nearly half a decade of experience in traveling Australia and has recently become a new Mum. Her site, http://www.realaustraliatravel.com offers useful information for planning your visit to Australia as well as where to go and what to do. Click here for more details on Aboriginal Australia
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