Aboriginal Australians conserve the oldest culture in the world. Human occupation of Australia started about 65,000 years ago with successive waves of immigration from south and southeast Asia. Archaeologists continue to revise the date of early settlements.
The word ‘aboriginal’ has appeared in the English language since the 17th century and means ‘first or earliest known, indigenous.’ This term has been used to describe its Indigenous peoples as early as 1789. It was appropriated when the English colonized Australia. Before colonists arrived from Europe, there were no aboriginals, just people.
The world’s oldest surviving houses are situated in Victoria at Lake Condah. They are about 8,000 years old and pre-dated the Egyptian pyramids by about 5,000 years. Curiously, the site has no World Heritage listing.
Many Aboriginal communities require permits to enter their lands. This helps insure the privacy of locals. If you are visiting an Aboriginal community, wait until you are invited to approach people’s homes or groups of people. Funerals and cultural ceremonies are times of special privacy in communities. Use extra sensitivity in communities at these times.
Planeta.com has collaborated with Aboriginal Tourism Australia in developing marketing strategies for aboriginal tour operators. We participated in the 2007 Business Development Symposium, a powerful capacity building training seminar.
The Torres Strait Islanders are considered a distinct ethnic group.
Aboriginal people use songlines to pass down creation stories, laws and trading routes through generations
Aboriginal people may have a number of names, for example a European first name and surname, a bush name, a ‘skin name’ (based on ‘skin names’ of parents) and perhaps a nickname.