Aboriginal Australians have not just one culture, but about 400 different cultures across Australia, each with its own language, laws, traditions, and stories. Some of the languages are as different from each other as English is from Chinese, whilst others can be closely related, like Spanish and Portugese.
Some Aboriginal cultures are rich in stories and ceremonies tied to the night sky, while in others the sky doesn't seem to play such an important role at all.
In some Aboriginal cultures the Moon is male and the Sun is female, and there are many different versions of stories, in different languages, in which the Moon-man falls ill (the waning Moon), lies dead for three nights (New Moon), and then resurrects on the third day (the waxing Moon).
NATUREAboriginals see themselves as part of nature. We see all things natural as part of us. All the things on Earth we see as part human. This is told through the ideas of dreaming. By dreaming we mean the belief that long ago, these creatures started human society. These creatures, these great creatures are just as much alive today as they were in the beginning. They are everlasting and will never die. They are always part of the land and nature as we are. Our connection to all things natural is spiritual.' Silas Roberts, first Chairman of the Northern Lands Council.
MUSICAborigines have developed unique instruments and folk styles. The didgeridoo is commonly considered the national instrument of Australian Aborigines, and it is claimed to be the world's oldest wind instrument.
Clapping sticks are probably the more ubiquitous musical instrument, especially because they help maintain the rhythm for the song. More recently, Aboriginal musicians have branched into rock and roll, hip hop and reggae.
Artist Minnie Pwerle
ARTAustralia has a long tradition of Aboriginal art which is thousands of years old. Modern Aboriginal artists continue the tradition using modern materials in their artworks. Aboriginal art is the most internationally recognizable form of Australian art.
Tiwi island Footy!!
The Djabwurrung and Jardwadjali people of western Victoria once participated in the traditional game of Marn Grook, a type of football played with possum hide. The game inspired Tom Wills, inventor of the code of Australian rules football, which is now a popular Australian winter sport.
Similarities between Marn Grook and Australian football include the unique skill of jumping to catch the ball or high "marking", which results in a free kick. The word "mark" may have originated in "mumarki", which is "an Aboriginal word meaning catch" in a dialect of a Marn Grook playing tribe.
Aussie Rules has seen many indigenous players at elite football, and have produced some of the most exciting and skillful to play the modern game. Approximately one in ten AFL players are of indigenous origin.
In the National Rugby League 11% of the players were of Indigenous heritage. In 2008 Australia's national Rugby League team saw a record number of five Aboriginal players (38%) in their ranks of 13.Aboriginal people themselves account for only about 2.3% of Australia's population (2008 figures), yet they account for more than five times that percentage of elite footballers.
The Dreamtime (or Dreaming) is a term used to describe the period before living memory when Spirits emerged from beneath the earth and from the sky to create the land forms and all living things. The dreamtime stories set down the laws for social and moral order and establish the cultural patterns and customs.
The Dreaming, as well as answering questions about origins, provides a harmonious framework for human experience in the universe and the place of all living things within it. It describes the harmony between humans and all other natural things.For instance, an indigenous Australian might say that he or she has Kangaroo Dreaming, or Shark Dreaming, or Honey Ant Dreaming, or any combination of Dreamings pertinent to their "country".