Meaning and Definition of Aboriginal
The word “ aboriginal ” is used to designate people who have lived in the same territory for thousands of years. The word “ native ” is also used interchangeably. In the past, the aborigines had no contact with other cultures.
It was only when foreign travelers came to their land that the Aboriginal peoples became known in other parts of the world.
Today, there are few places on Earth where Aboriginal cultures have not been modified by foreign influence. However, the native peoples survive in the forests of South America, on the island of New Guinea, and in the mountains of Malaysia and the Philippines, where they maintain much of the original way of life .
The Central and South American aborigines are called Indians. This was the name that the natives received when the Europeans arrived on the American continent in the fifteenth century.
Although the word “ Aboriginal ” is used to describe native peoples from anywhere in the world, it is also used more specifically to refer to people who were already living in Australia before the arrival of Europeans. Australian Aborigines arrived on this large island more than 40,000 years ago. Some of them try to keep their traditions alive.
The aborigines of Australia were nomadic hunters and gatherers , that is, they moved from one place to another in search of food and water. They lived in caves or built temporary shelters out of twigs, tree bark, and leather animals. The men fished and hunted . The women gathered everything edible, such as fruits, roots, and eggs.
Aboriginal lives changed with the arrival of Europeans in Australia more than two hundred years ago. The new inhabitants forced the natives to abandon their lands and change their way of life. Many Aboriginal people died defending their homeland ; others did not resist the diseases brought by the Europeans.
Today, Aborigines are scattered throughout Australia and work in the most diverse professions. However, many live in precarious conditions , as they do not have the same opportunities as most Australians.