Australian Aborigines were almost exterminated by the English
colonizers. Today, they represent only 1% of the Australian population, roughly estimated at around 200,000 people. When Captain Cook arrived in 1770, there were about 300,000 of them. The Aborigines inhabited Australia for at least 25,000 years (this was proven by Carbon 14 on paintings left on rocks). At that time, Australia was probably connected with Papua-New Guinea, and had many more rivers and forests in contrast to the desert that it is today.
By 1965, the population of "Pure Aboriginals" was little more than 40,000 people. They were literally massacred by the colonizers and expelled from their land, especially from productive land. They were pushed to the North of the country, where temperatures reach 50 degree Celsius in very wet or extremely dry areas. The Aborigines are extremely spiritual people and by 1770 they were so primitive that they didn't know what metal was. Most instruments and
artifacts were made from wood, rock or bones. The boomerang itself was primarily a toy used to entertain the villagers, only later being used as a hunting and war device.
|Note: It is very difficult today in Australia to find someone who knows how to throw a Boomerang, despite the fact that they are sold in every souvenir shop!
By 1806, racism from colonizers and soldiers reached a very high point. Not only were sacred Aboriginal places violated and desecrated, the Aboriginals themselves became hunted like kangaroos for pleasure and fun, like trophy prizes. The soldiers used to visit Aboriginal villages offering gifts, while the real purpose of the visit was to contaminate the village water supply with arsenic. Whole communities including children, elderly, women and men were removed by arsenic poisoning. Rum, initially imported from England, was freely offered to Villagers. The introduction of rum made many villagers drunk for a whole week until death arrived from alcoholic comas. The English soldiers took advantage of this stage of alcoholism to create wars between friendly villages, leaving them to kill each other. It was a massacre.
Later, the Aborigines were recruited to work on cattle farms. Payment was ridiculous low, compared to a white mans wage. To justify this act, the farmers made allegations that the Aborigines had no feelings with horses (which was true due to the fact that they were nomads and used to travel by foot). Secondly, the Aboriginals spiritual life style was totally connected with the environment. In reality, the Aborigines didn't understand why they had to raise horses and sheep when the sea and nature provided everything necessary for living. They were considered lazy and insolent. But, they worked for less than 2 pounds per week as payment, while the white man never worked for less than 9 pounds. Also, because of their dark skin, the Aborigines were able to work for long period of time under the hot sun, while the whites used to get sunburned very
Many Australian farms today use helicopters or all terrain vehicles to deal with the cattle. Some farms have such big properties, that from the gate to the main house, it can take 45 minutes to cover the distance,
traveling in a car at 140 km per hour.
After Australia gained independence from
England, (but still with a very strong racial discrimination against anyone not descendent from the British) something much worse happened to the Aborigines. It is called "The lost Generation"; where Aboriginal children were kidnapped never to be seen again by their families. The government target was to physiologically break any interference from Aboriginal people on the "white" politics. Recently, John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister acknowledged the fact, but refused to officially say sorry to the Aboriginal people. Many believe that this is why Aboriginals receive very high financial compensation from the Australian government in various forms.
Happily many things have changed
for the better amongst Aborigines today, and many anti-discrimination laws have been reinforced. Racial discrimination is a very serious crime in Australia, and the government is giving extra support to indigenous communities. In reality, Aborigines in 2004 are receiving many more social benefits than any other community. Many Aboriginals are completely integrated into society, through music, art, politics, making their presence enhance the real Australia.
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