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Aboriginals in Australia

Traditional aboriginal culture, throwing the boomerang, ritual dancing, starting fire with sticks - that's what lots of tourists expect to see in Australia. Thanks to movies and books we have romantic imagination about ancient aboriginal civilisation...
Indigenous Australians


Reality is quite different. Indigenous population in major cities in Australia is very small, and it's hard to meet native Australians on the streets of Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide.

The only touches of Aboriginal culture are artifacts like boomerangs, paintings, and musical instruments such as didjeridoo and rainstick which you can buy in souvenir shops.

Aboriginal music on the streets of Adelaide
Aboriginal music on the streets of Adelaide
Playing didgeridoo on Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne
Playing didgeridoo on Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne
Apparently, in Australia there are no tribes conducting the traditional way of life as we know from books. Significant Australian territories, for example in South Australia, are only for Aboriginal people, and strangers need permission to visit these areas. However, as far as I know, in these territories Aboriginals have a modern life, they use cars, TVs and other modern conveniences.
Spear throwing
Spear throwing

So, what could the tourists do?
For example, in Russia you can buy traditional nested doll (called matrioshka, or babushka) in souvenir shop, and also go to a concert of traditional Russian music. In large Australian cities except for purchase of a boomerang there are virtually no opportunities to expirience Aboriginal culture. 200 km from Melbourne, in Grampians there is a centre of aboriginal culture Brambrok. I visited this centre 3 times but unfortunately I did not manage to see anything beyond souvenir shops stock. Sadly very little practical demonstration of the traditional Aboriginal way of life is available for tourists to appreciate.
Calling the ghosts of fire
Calling the ghosts of fire
Lighting the fire with sticks
Lighting the fire with sticks
Fire is lit!
Fire is lit!
Ritual dance around bonfire
Ritual dance around bonfire

The reason why there is not much of aboriginal culture left lies in the events back in 1700's and continued until the mid 20th century. Shortly after colonisation, aboriginals were ruthlessly attacked by white colonizers on the southeast territories of Australia. Many of the Aboriginals died from diseases brought to Australia (such as the common cold), due to the fact that they had never been exposed to these sicknesses.

Nowadays the elements of reconciliation with indigenous population of Australia are a very important part of the Australian political life. Hot discussions inflame around the lack of official public apologies of the Australian government for the so called 'Stolen Generation' of aboriginals, as well as numerous social privileges reserved specifically for the indigenous population of Australia.

View on Tjapukai from the SkyRail
View on Tjapukai from the SkyRail

Playing didgeridoo
Playing didgeridoo
Demonstration of traditional medicine
Demonstration of traditional medicine

Apart from reading about politics in the newspapers the only place I know where tourists could experience Aboriginal culture and traditions is the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

It is located in the far north of Australia, near Cairns city. You can see traditional dance, learn how to paint boomerang and throw it so it comes back.

The most photos on this page were taken in this centre.

Aboriginal represents a kangaroo in ritual dance
Aboriginal represents a kangaroo in ritual dance

I believe the pride of the roots, culture and traditions will create more centres such as Tjapukai, where anyone interested in aboriginal culture could learn a lot about it.

More info on Indigenous Australians:

User comments on this album

View messages number: 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100,

Posting 2076 by mimilabombe
las vegas

Sunday December 03rd, 2006 06:01 AM


anyone knows where i can find music videos of aboriginals dancing

Posting 2047 by caitlen hall

Saturday December 02nd, 2006 03:01 PM


its just amazing how they live there own life and have different stratergies to live there life and to eat and survive

Posting 2043 by SIMONE

Saturday December 02nd, 2006 07:02 AM

hi this is simone otto and i just want to know one thing are you holdind a dead fish with fire on it

Posting 1786 by Cutie
Perth AUS

Tuesday November 01st, 2005 02:00 AM


there is good info thnx but y dont u have anything about when the british ppl came? thats wat i really need to know for my homework

Posting 1748 by kate

Monday October 31st, 2005 07:00 PM


nice thnks help me with ma hmrk n studies awsome

Posting 1716 by hayley

Monday October 31st, 2005 03:00 PM

u helped my project

thanks for helping me with my project but i was wondering why dont u have a page on famous places in australia like museums,buildings,houses etc...

Posting 1713 by Yazan

Monday October 31st, 2005 02:02 PM


hey i just wanted to know what types of food the aboriginals eat. and aslo how many dances they do
Peace out my honies in Austrlia

Posting 1684 by ashley cadby

Monday October 31st, 2005 08:01 AM


are u aloud to ride motorbikes on the street over there
Posting 1657 by cowie

Monday October 31st, 2005 04:00 AM

this site helped!

ello ppl this site helped me with my homework and i love australi i went for xmas and ive been to Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne it was ace! ta with helping me with my homework! xx
Posting 1617 by Miz Me

Friday December 09th, 2005 07:01 PM


Hey! kool site.. helped me with am homework! thanx bro.
Posting 1581 by TAYLA HIGGINS

Friday December 09th, 2005 04:01 AM


Posting 1572 by Eliza

Friday December 09th, 2005 03:02 AM


I recon that this website is really educational.
How they live is really amazing like how they draw to communicate with people is really cool.
Im quater aboriginal but i really like playing the digerido and im really good at it. Is it true that if you
e a girl and you play the digerido you get haunted by the ann sisters spirits?

Posting 1554 by morgan

Friday December 09th, 2005 06:00 AM


ther r sum really good n nice fotos in this album i really like it good 4 my project on aboriginal fanx!!xo
Posting 1551 by mike

Friday December 09th, 2005 05:00 AM

things to add to this website

we are currently syuding aboriginal people and how they were in the 1788-1900. we have studed aboriginals 4 years in a row and i am in grade 8. i am searching for information on how the aboriginals lost the war againts britan. we know how they lost but we want to go deeper into the society of aboriginals. i want to get information on what had happened in the wars. how many people are approx dead. we the aboriginals treated nice or bad. there is so much to talk.pls add the info to this website to get a better and wider audience.
Posting 1485 by Jaala
Thursday December 08th, 2005 11:01 PM

This sight is so cool. I learn alot about heaps aboriginal facts

Posting 1431 by StAcEy Da BoMbA
Thursday December 08th, 2005 10:00 PM


im doing an assignment and i would like to know what did aboriginals do every day and even special event and where they came from
Posting 1420 by bernie
pelican point, australia

Thursday December 08th, 2005 03:01 PM


when did the aboriginals settle in australia?
Posting 1419 by bernie
pelican point, australia

Thursday December 08th, 2005 03:01 PM


when did the aboriginals settle?
Posting 1416 by michelle

Thursday December 08th, 2005 11:02 AM

i think its good

i think its good 4 learning its good info 4 school children
Posting 1404 by karissa

Thursday December 08th, 2005 08:01 AM

its awsome

this website is awsome i just wanted 2 ask a question tho ok here it is::..::.. is their information on places or worship?
thanks for putting up this web site for me lol thanks sooooo much.. xoxoxox

View messages number: 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100,
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