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Ant 101 Australian Aboriginals Essay

The Australian Aborigines are a nomadic band of people that roam the outback of Australia. They walk for miles a day, rest at night, and then walk some more the next day. The men kill the animals of Australia for food and the women gather what roots and berries that they can find. They travel from place to place according to the seasons. They go where the food is. The Aborigines know that they cannot control the weather or the condition of the land so they learn to live with it. They believe that all plants and animals contain a spirit. They treat nature with respect knowing that the land will provide what they need for their survival.

They are a kinship band that has many families. They use the method of general reciprocity to survive. What one male of one family kills for food, they share with the other families in the band, expecting nothing in return. They also use the balanced reciprocity. When they meet other bands they will trade left over food or other items for something of equal value. There are small markets where they can take their belongings and trade for things that they need. The Aborigines believe in the cross-cousins marriage. They marry within the family. Cross-cousins are the children of the opposite-sex siblings.

They marry their uncle’s or their aunt’s children. The male will usually move in with his new wife’s family and help to furnish food and other things that they need. Divorce is very easy among the bands because there is no property to divide. It is usually the woman who initiates the divorce. When she gets tired of her mate, or decides that she want Aborigines 4another mate, she leaves him. When a couple no longer sleeps together, then they are considered divorced. When a couple divorces it usually does not affect the family ties. If the woman is breastfeeding then the baby goes with her.

The children that are old enough can choose which parent they want to live with. Since they are all in the same family, custody is shared. The men are considered the hunters of the band and the women are the gatherers. The women are the ones who control the population. Because of their constant roaming, their children must be at least 4 years apart. Breastfeeding is a natural form of birth spacing. While a woman is breastfeeding she produces a hormone that stops ovulation and they cannot get pregnant. They cannot carry more than one baby at a time so their other children must be old enough to walk.

It is not unusual for a woman to kill or leave a newborn behind to die because of deformity or starvation. They will mostly kill the female and try to keep the male. A Shaman is a healer among the people. They can be male or female, depending on the cultural rules. In some cultures, shamans use their power to cause rather than heal illness. Shamans who make people sick are sometimes said to be using sorcery. Among one Aboriginal community, bad feelings can be caused between groups if it is believed that sorcery has caused someone to die. Religion among the Aborigines is more spiritual.

They believe that every living thing has a spirit. Also that a certain totem gave birth to their ancestors in a mythical time and that it holds their spirits. They also believe that the totem controls their health and wellbeing. Their belief is so strong that they will have certain rituals to make sure that the totem is taken care of. Aborigines 5 They believe that Dreamtime is the time that the earth was created. It is what the aborigines live by. Dreamtime has different meanings. They are the source of all spirits, the moral order, ancestral beings and the period of creation.

It can all so mean a totem’s spirit. And a certain lay of the land. They believe that their ancestors put certain spirits on the earth during Dreamtime. Also that their ancestors still exist in Dreamtime and they can be used to bridge the natural world with the spiritual world. They believe that the ancestors walked the earth during Dreamtime and marked the territories for all the bands. They also created singlines. They are songs that describe certain mountains and lays of the land so that the bands know what to look for and which way to go in their travels.

The Aborigines are adapting to the modern world. They are working with the organizations that are helping them to get ownership of their territories, using dreamtime and songline to point out their boundaries. Aborigines6 Conclusion The Aborigines are a resourceful group of people that get along with nature and know how to survive in the wild. I believe that they will be here for a long time. Aborigines7 Resources Barbara Nowak and Peter Laird/ Cultural Anthropology/ Chapters 3 and 4/ Ashford Libraries.

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