Aborigine Literature

The name "aborigine" derives from the
Latin, meaning "original inhabitants."

There are approx. 400,000 aborigines living in Australia.

Australian Dream Time Legends

Australian aborigines, native people of Australia who probably came from somewhere in Asia more than 40,000 years ago. In 2001 the population of aborigines and Torres Straits Islanders was 366,429, 1.9% of the Australian population as a whole and slightly more than the estimated aboriginal population of 350,000 at the time of European colonization in the late 18th cent. At that time, there were 500–600 distinct groups of aborigines speaking about 200 different languages or dialects (at least 50 of which are now extinct). Although culturally diverse, these groups were not political and economic entities and lacked class hierarchies and chiefs. They lived by hunting and gathering, and there was extensive intergroup trade throughout the continent.

The aborigines have an intricate classification system that defines kinship relations and regulates marriages. The Kariera, for example, are divided into hordes, or local groups of about 30 people, which are divided into four classes, or sections. Membership in a section determines ritual and territorial claims. In half of the hordes the men are divided among the Karimera and Burung sections; in the other half they are divided among the Palyeri and Banaka sections.

These sections are exogamous, and rules of marriage, descent, and residence determine how these sections interact: Karimera men must marry Palyeri women, and their children are Burung, and so on. Sons live in the same hordes as their fathers, so the composition of hordes alternates every generation. The complex system, by requiring each man to marry a woman from only one of the three possible sections, fosters a broad network of social relations and creates familial solidarity within the horde as a whole. Aborigines maintain elaborate systems of totemism (the belief that there is a genealogical relationship between people and species of plants or animals). They see the relationship between totemic plants and animals as a symbolic map of the relations between different people.

"Heart of My People"


Andrew Williams


Aboriginal Gods & Goddess's
Aborigine Creation Myth
Another Legend
At Low Tide
Bahloo The Moon And The Daens
Baiame and Man
Baiame and Marmoo
Baiame and the First Man and Woman
Baiame the Benefactor
Baiame's Anger
Binndar And The Googarhs
Bird Legend

Bootoolgah The Crane And Goonur
The Kangaroo Rat, The Fire Makers

Bougoodoogahdah The Rain Bird
Bunjil is Swept from the Earth
Bunjil the Creator #1
Bunjil the Creator #2
Bunnyyarl The Flies And Wurrunnunnah The Bees
Burra Wurra - South Head
Deegeenboyah the Soldier-bird
Deereeree the Wagtail, and the Rainbow
Dinewan the Emu, and Goomblegubbon the Bustard
Dinewan the Emu, and Wahn the Crows
Eaglehawk and Crow
Giant Kangaroos
Goolahwilleel the Topknot Pigeons
Gooloo the Magpie, and the Wahroogah
Goomblegubbon, Beeargah, and Ouyan
Goonur, the Woman-Doctor
Gwai Billa
How Fire was Stolen from the Red-Crested Cockatoo
How the Native Bear Lost His Tail
How The Pistils Of The Waratah Became Firm
How The Sky Was Lifted Up
How the Stars Were Made

How The Kangaroo Got A Long Tail,
And The Wombat A Flat Forehead

Legend Of The Great Flood
Legend Of The Sacred Bullroarer
Mayrah, the Wind that Blows the Winter Away
Meamei The Seven Sisters
Mirragan, the Fisherman
Mist And A Fringe Flower
South Head - Burra Wurra
Star Legend

Worlds Oldest Inhabitants?

The word "aboriginal" means "the first" or "earliest known". The word was first used in Italy and Greece to describe people who lived there, natives or old inhabitants, not newcomers, or invaders.

Australia may well be the home of the worlds first people. Stone tools discovered in a quarry near Penrith, New South Wales, in 1971 show that humans lived in Australia at least twelve thousand years before they appeared in Europe.
So far three early sites have been discovered in Australia, the Penrith one being dated about forty-seven thousand years old, a Western Australian site forty thousand years old and another in Lake Mungo, New South Wales, thirty-five thousand years old.

To put this in perspective, so that we can appreciate the time scales, since the first fleet arrived in 1788 there have only been 8 generations of settlers. On the other hand, there have been in excess of 18,500 generations of aboriginals!!!

Aborigine Picture Gallery

Aboriginal Art Online

Aboriginal Paintings Gallery

Aboriginal Studies Electronic Archive
(AIATSIS\ANU, Australia)

Aboriginal Studies WWW Virtual Library

Aboriginal Programs Section
(Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Australia)

Aborigine National Flag
Picture, Lynette F. Watters, based on the Australian Aboriginal Flag
The colours represent the land (red), the sun (yellow) & the people (black).

The Aboriginal flag is divided horizontally into two equal halves of black (top)
and red (bottom), with a yellow circle in the centre. The black symbolises
Aboriginal people and the yellow represents the sun, the constant renewer of life.
Red depicts the earth and also represents ochre, which is used by Aboriginal People in ceremonies.

(ANU, Australia)

Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery

Aboriginal History Journal Archive
(ANU, Australia)

Alcheringa Webring

Use of Insects by Australian Aborigines

Yothu Yindi

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Copyright @ 1993-2016

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