man man.jpg

The first people of Australia were the Aborigines. (The word "Aboriginal" means "the first" or "earliest known".) It is believed that they came to Australia around 50,000 years ago and were the first group of humans to travel from Africa. They would have travelled through India, Malaysia, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. The final journey to Australia was over sea and would have been made by raft or canoe.

There are approximately 500 Aborigines living in Australia today. They live in small clans or tribes, each having their own language and territory. Aborigines don't usually have beards but often have lots of hair on their heads.

Aboriginal problems

When the British first went to Australia, they wanted the land for themselves. Even though there were Aborigines living there, the British made a law saying that the land of Australia belonged to nobody so they were allowed to claim it as their own. Many Aborigines suffered because their land was stolen in this way.

Aboriginal art

external image aboriginal%20painting%20-%20colour.jpg
Aboriginal art has survived for thousands of years and remains as one of the oldest types of art. Aboriginal artists usually based their wonderful art work on patterns, animals and landscapes.

Aboriginal artists discovered they could make paint using the things around them, such as by rubbing rocks together to make coloured dust and mixing them with the end of a dead stick.

The Dreamtime

Aborigines believe that they have animal, plant, and human ancestors who created the world and everything in it. This process of creation is called Dreamtime. There are many songs and stories about Dreamtime, which aboriginal people have passed down to their children for many years.