Thursday, May 26, 2005

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

Bing, Jian, Wei, Lily & Ivy

Maintaining one's cultural, values and traditions is very important. The Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest living cultures in the world.
Today, Indigenous communities keep culture alive by:
· Passing their knowledge, arts, crafts, rituals and performances from one generation to another.
· Speaking and teaching Aboriginal languages.
· Protecting cultural property and sacred sites and objects.

Archaeologists have found artefacts at Lake Mungo, Botany Bay and Parramatta.
Archaeological evidence shows that indigenous cultures have developed and changed a number of times as a result of changes in the environment.

The indigenous artefacts a t Lake Mungo date back to at least 33,000 years.
The indigenous artefacts at Botany Bay show evidence of a shell midden. A midden is a heap of shell form seafood eaten by Aboriginal people ( some date back to 3000 years).

Archaeologists have also found axes and flaked stone artefacts around Parramatta.

pandanus basketbasket

Aboriginal people used baskets and bags to carry foods, babies, water and other objects. The baskets and bags are usually mad by Aboriginal men and women. They re woven using bark, human hair, pandanus and palm fronds, grasses and bush twine. They are coloured with dyes made from roots, bark and other natural substances and they are sometimes decorated with feather and pieces of cloth. The baskets also are woven in many different shapes: rectangular, round, crescent and cylindrical. For example the shape of the Pandanus basket is crescent l. The Pandanus basket comes from the Murray River in South Australia. The artist used a coil technique, used only in South Australia.

The Aboriginal men made the shields. They used them in dances, ceremonies and some times in defensive fight.
The narrowest shields were used in hand-to-hand fight. The wide ones to protect them form spears and other missiles. The rainforest people of north Queensland made th3e largest shields. They painted them with calm design colours.
The Daintree shield was collected from a rainforest region. It was used for ceremonies and defence in fighting. The shield was made from the buttress o a rainforest fig tree. It was carved into shape using hand tools. The handle cavity was creat4ed by burning and chipping the wood.

(Information collected from interpretation signs at the Australian Museum & Museum's website)


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