Who are the aboriginal people of Australia?

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The Aboriginal people of Australia were the first people to settle in Australia. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers that roamed Australia by foot. It is unknown for exactly how long they have occupied the land for but estimates claim they have been living in Australia for about 50,000 years! During the years before European settlement in Australia, the Aboriginal people utilised their surroundings by hunting and fishing on the land, they had great skills and wisdom and were in perfect balance with their surroundings. They spent about 4-5 hours of the day working to provide food and resources which left them with a lot of time to develop a rich and complex ritual life.

The strong sense of spirituality can be seen through the act of “dreaming” or “dreamtime”. This is one of the most spiritual activities the aboriginal people of Australia take part in and includes passing on stories, dancing, song and art.

This way of life however was nearly destroyed once the Europeans arrived in Australia, as they brought with them deadly diseases that the Aboriginal people of Australia had not yet encountered before. Smallpox was among one of the diseases that had caused major destruction by whipping over half the population. Today, still remains about 713,600 (2% of Australian population) Aboriginal people in Australia. Due to the strong discrimination that the Aboriginal people faced by the European settlement, only recently have there been efforts to right the wrongs of the past.

Published on by Daniele L.