How Aboriginal Australians Work

The Aboriginal people of Australia were the first people to set foot on the continent, sometime between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago.

The Aboriginal Australians' creation story describes their arrival in terms of the Dreamtime, the beginning of time, when the spirits created the world. During Dreamtime, spirits rose from below the earth and transformed it into the natural elements – rivers, lakes, mountains, and caves. Aboriginal Australians believe that these spirits are alive within the land of Australia, so they view the land as holy and treat it as such.

The stories of the Dreamtime are also considered sacred, and they are kept secret from the outside world. Elders draw these stories in a series, called a dreaming trail, using symbols. Young men then learn what the symbols mean and how to translate them so they can pass the history along to the next generation. Many Aboriginal Australians consider the dreamings to be the absolute truth – an unquestionable recording of history.

The scientific explanation for how Aboriginal people arrived in Australia is simple: They walked. Scientific studies have proposed the possibility that all humans came from Africa within the last 200,000 years. According to some scientists, the Aboriginal people walked from Africa onto Eurasia. From there, they spread from India along the coastlines of Southeast Asia, where they then traveled over a land bridge connecting Australia to Asia. Once the seas rose and covered the land that connected the continents, indigenous Australians were isolated on the island for thousands of years.

Source: How Aboriginal Australians Work
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