Dark Emu II: Precolonial Australian societies tilled the land

Mar 2019
1,435
Kansas
#51
One of the questions is ; what can we lean ? Well, I could write a fair bit on that !
One thing they can teach us is when droughts are coming. In the Sydney basin, there are certain plants that flower profusely just before drying weather patterns about to begin

The other thing I will mention is rather large, confronting and probably controversial . It is about learning to be kind and considerate . As simple as that.
I have an aunty who worked for years with Aboriginal communities in far Western NSW. The thing she said always struck her was how non racist they were, and white people were as welcome into a tribe as any one as long as they followed the tribes rules and tradition.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,274
Australia
#52
One thing they can teach us is when droughts are coming. In the Sydney basin, there are certain plants that flower profusely just before drying weather patterns about to begin



I have an aunty who worked for years with Aboriginal communities in far Western NSW. The thing she said always struck her was how non racist they were, and white people were as welcome into a tribe as any one as long as they followed the tribes rules and tradition.

Things we can learn ...... I think this is why, partially , this knowledge is starting to enter the school curriculum .

First I want to point out a distinction between a culture that is surviving in difficulty and one that is collapsing and in crisis . I have said things like the above to others and received back an incredulous reply - usually some story of how they where abused or ripped off . But a culture and people in crisis are not acting like they normally would . The places I stayed at where 'cultural' , 'solid' , 'grog free' , etc . If one visits the 'rougher' suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne , you are just as likely to get a bottle thrown at you as you are in a 'rougher' Aboriginal area - thats life. . . culture in crisis.

Now, that is aside, hopefully to dispel any confusion about that - the 'non-racist' part ; An indigenous friend of mine ( a teacher, Elder and Custodian ) , when first came to my place noticed a painting on the back of a performance stage nearby. It was a large circle of all different colored people hands held standing under a rainbow in the sky. he was elated ; " Thats it ! That's my dreaming ! " Apparently he was 'holding' an old story about all sorts of different colored people coming together - like a rainbow in the sky. So developments in Australian 'multi-culturalism' , according to him, is part of The Dreaming.

One of the places he was custodian of received many international visitors - Buddhist , Africans , all types. But I was often horrified by what those people ( the 'white Euro' ones ) said and did . But still they forgave them. I talked to them about this and they are MUCH more tolerant and understanding about it than I am ! I am amazed at how tolerant and understanding they can be !

In my observations, the behavior and attitudes of those white Euro visitors, who where allowed to camp on some of the land 'under' that guardianship, led to the collapse of the whole experiment . They where rude, inconsiderate, polluted the land , didnt get the camp toilets properly together ( disgusting ! ) and BADLY polluted the river water ( again, dead floating fish ! - which was part of the camps food supply ! ) which also supplied drinking water to the 'mission' downstream .

When I went to another of their places , where WE ( white Euros) 'strangers' are not really that welcome I took a car load of stuff for them - fruit from our orchids , veggies from the garden, tobacco and a wallaby ( a dead one, that is , for meat ) . I was polite, friendly and made a very good joke which broke the ice. Later I was invited to a special talk and dance performance for the next weekend at a special place , others where invited. I arrived a bit late as it was a long drive. Others had gathered and where sitting around doing nothing, evening was approaching.

" Have you got firewood together, what have we got for dinner, let's pool resources. " What a disorganized bunch! One helped me gather firewood and make a fire and organize some type of meal , the others mulled around uselessly and some got out guitars and some started singing ..... la la laaa .

Then they took over the fire and all sat around it singing , waiting for their dinner . Then the Elders turned up, I announced them .... no reaction at all ! No one even made a space by the fire for them, they stood at the back watching and smiling . I even said "The Elders are here for the event they invited us to, so please stop the music and listen . " they didnt . I was shocked. So me and this woman made a separate fire for them laid out some cushions, folded up sleeping bags and things and covered them with some wallaby skins the woman had and we went and sat down around that, I made them cups of tea and then got some bowls of food for them. Still, nearby the 'party' continued. I announced their presence again - nothing . Twice during the 'event' I had to ask them to quieten down as they where drowning out the conversation.

But Ooooo ... they things I did hear, and the teachings I got ! And all those others missed out . The next day was the dance performance and the trip being taken to their sacred site . But the next morning, after watching things for 1/2 an hour, I left in disgust.

A few days later I saw some of those people in my home town ; " Oh, you left early and missed out . " ... missed out ! :rolleyes:

Me; " Oh ? And you got to see the dances did you ?

" Nah , they never got it together to turn up and do the dances .... typical ! "

Me; " Typical ? ! I would not dance for you if you didnt give my grandmother a place by the fire, a cup of tea and food ! "

They had no idea what I was talking about so I explained my perceptions to them .... they where at a loss and seemed confused that any of it even happened ! One even tried " Oh well, we dont really understand their ways and customs ."

That made me loose the plot and rant at them loudly in the street " What ? When you visit your grandmother or auntie, you never take a cake or anything. They come to your place,you dont offer them a seat ???? THEIR customs ? ! Thats common human decencancy ... what's wrong with you people ? ! " etc ....

[ Indigenous are also excellent at gossip; ' bush telegraph' , that story got around very quick ... and other stories about me ( I showed them some of my martial arts and weapons forms, and done 'other stuff' with them) . What I thought should have been 'normal behavior' seems to have maade me special in some ways and accepted . If thats all it takes, there is great hope ... if WE can get it together ! ]

And when I relay that story back to the Kooris they " Oh well, we have to forgive them as they dont really understand - they are all mixed up and dont seem to realize it ... you need to calm down and not let it get to you so much ! "

:eek:


I need to calm down ? ? ! !


... seriously, I dont know how they do it ... after everything that has happened and is still happening to them, they can still find forgiveness and understanding ? Thats beyond me ... I dont know how they do it . They told me I am a 'cranky fellah ' :D

They certainly want to share their knowledge ! They LOVE doing it !

This place is just up the mountain from me ;


 
May 2011
2,928
Rural Australia
#54
They certainly want to share their knowledge ! They LOVE doing it !

This place is just up the mountain from me ;



a study of australian aboriginal should infact enlighten past of human race which has been preserved in them.
I agree with these statements.

IMO it may well be that an informed knowledge of the history of humanity is critical for its future survival.
 
Mar 2019
1,435
Kansas
#55
I agree with these statements.

IMO it may well be that an informed knowledge of the history of humanity is critical for its future survival.
Another relative of mine spent an extended period being a tourist through central Australia. When he came back he made a most profound statements about human civilization.

The Aboriginal moves through the land. We move across the land.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,274
Australia
#56
Remember 'Race Across Australia" ? ( I think that is what it was called )

Through a large section of the interior to 'civilisation' ; an old Aboriginal man, a 'survivalist ' guy from some Euro country and an 'endurance specialist ' ( or such such 'adventurer' ) from USA. First one to ... wherever it was ... wins .

Tne Aboriginal guy got ready for a nice long walk . The Euro guy found out about the route that followed water holes and was going ot take that.. The American decided he was gong to win this 'competition' outright ! His plane was to go in a straight line, straight through the middle of the desert .... by taking water with him ! he had this huge tanker on wheels that he was going to pull by having a harness strapped to his chest .

:lol:

He soon abandoned the tanker, got into trouble, suffered exhaustion and , on camera, actually broke down and cried and said he was giving up, he couldnt go on.

The Euro did better, but he started getting heat exhaustion and de hydration too . Both stopped and their support teams rushed in to help them . As their medics where attending to them, someone clicked ; " Hey, what about the other guy , he hasnt got a support team and he is very old. We better go out and find him and rescue him ... this was a crazy plan . "

So they went out looking and couldnt find him. The got more worried, started looking everywhere, until one of them found him in some shady bushes asleep. They woke him up ; " What are you doing asleep ? This is supposed to be a race. "

But he didnt understand what they meant . After they explained what had happened, he " Hang on a minute , do you mean to tell me the other two men are walking in the DAYTIME and sleeping at NIGHT ? "

" Ummmm ... errr .... yeah . "

" What ? Look, tell them to sleep in the middle of the day and walk though the night ! "

:D


" But how do you see at night ?"

" Easy , Even when the Moon not up, starlight easy bright enough to see where you are going . Its beautiful out here at night walking across the desert under the stars . Walking at night keeps you warm too . Tell them to sleep in the middle of the day and walk through the night . "

" But ... you could loose your advantage if they find that out, you could easily win now . "

" Well, i dont want any one to get hurt, you could die out here behaving like that . Its just a race . "

Back at the Euro camp, he had recovered and was ready set off that night. So was the American , now all bright and bushy tailed ( great support team he had ... must have extra water, electrolytes , vitamins ) - regardless that I I could have sworn I heard him say he threw the towel in the day before and gave up .

I think he was actually the first to get near the town destination , but 'they all' had decided, at some time, to now wait for each other and all walk in to town together .

It was declared a 3 way tie .


Yeah ..... right . ;)



[ Bit of a silly concept, I imagine the Aboriginal wouldn't do as good compeating with Innuit in their own territory :D
 
May 2011
2,928
Rural Australia
#57
Your story reminds me of the different facets of activities related to competition vs those related to cooperation. What's the use of competing with nature when one can learn to cooperate with it? And what are the use of competitive goals when survival is at stake? (See also below)


Did Australian Precolonial societies play football?

There seems to be sufficient evidence that the first Australians played some form of football. There has been a controversy over whether the football game of Marngrook contributed to the football game of Australian Rules, however this has at least identified historical evidence in support of this contention.

From what I can gather at the moment the original football game of marngrook did not have goal posts. It seems to have encouraged the proficiency of skills such as kicking, jumping, catching. If it was a game it also involved cooperation ...

Some background: Marn Grook - Wikipedia

Marn Grook or marngrook, from the Woiwurung language for "ball" or "game", is a collective name given the traditional Indigenous Australian football game played at gatherings and celebrations of sometimes more than 100 players.​
Marn Grook featured punt kicking and catching a stuffed ball. It involved large numbers of players, and games were played over an extremely large area. The game was not played tribe versus tribe. All tribes consisted of two halves (moieties) most often represented by the totemic symbols of Black Cockatoo and White Cockatoo. The tribes would therefore merge and divide themselves into the two teams based on the moiety totems. The game was subject to strict behavioural protocols and for instance all players had to be matched for size, gender and skin group relationship. However, to observers the game appeared to lack a team objective, having no real rules, or scoring. A winner could only be declared if one of the sides agreed that the other side had played better. Individual players who consistently exhibited outstanding skills, such as leaping high over others to catch the ball, were often praised, but proficiency in the sport gave them no tribal influence.[1]
Anecdotal evidence supports such games being played all over south-eastern Australia, including the Djabwurrung and Jardwadjali[2] people and other tribes in the Wimmera, Mallee and Millewa regions of western Victoria (However, according to some accounts, the range extended to the Wurundjeri in the Yarra Valley, the Gunai people of Gippsland, and the Riverina in south-western New South Wales. The Warlpiri tribe of Central Australia played a very similar kicking and catching game with a possum skin ball, and the game was known as pultja.[3]
The earliest accounts emerged decades after the European settlement of Australia, mostly from the colonial Victorian explorers and settlers. The earliest anecdotal account was in 1841, a decade prior to the Victorian gold rush. Although the consensus among historians is that Marn Grook existed before European arrival, it is not clear how long the game had been played in Victoria or elsewhere on the Australian continent.​
 
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#58
Remember 'Race Across Australia" ? ( I think that is what it was called )

Through a large section of the interior to 'civilisation' ; an old Aboriginal man, a 'survivalist ' guy from some Euro country and an 'endurance specialist ' ( or such such 'adventurer' ) from USA. First one to ... wherever it was ... wins .

Tne Aboriginal guy got ready for a nice long walk . The Euro guy found out about the route that followed water holes and was going ot take that.. The American decided he was gong to win this 'competition' outright ! His plane was to go in a straight line, straight through the middle of the desert .... by taking water with him ! he had this huge tanker on wheels that he was going to pull by having a harness strapped to his chest .

:lol:

He soon abandoned the tanker, got into trouble, suffered exhaustion and , on camera, actually broke down and cried and said he was giving up, he couldnt go on.

The Euro did better, but he started getting heat exhaustion and de hydration too . Both stopped and their support teams rushed in to help them . As their medics where attending to them, someone clicked ; " Hey, what about the other guy , he hasnt got a support team and he is very old. We better go out and find him and rescue him ... this was a crazy plan . "

So they went out looking and couldnt find him. The got more worried, started looking everywhere, until one of them found him in some shady bushes asleep. They woke him up ; " What are you doing asleep ? This is supposed to be a race. "

But he didnt understand what they meant . After they explained what had happened, he " Hang on a minute , do you mean to tell me the other two men are walking in the DAYTIME and sleeping at NIGHT ? "

" Ummmm ... errr .... yeah . "

" What ? Look, tell them to sleep in the middle of the day and walk though the night ! "

:D


" But how do you see at night ?"

" Easy , Even when the Moon not up, starlight easy bright enough to see where you are going . Its beautiful out here at night walking across the desert under the stars . Walking at night keeps you warm too . Tell them to sleep in the middle of the day and walk through the night . "

" But ... you could loose your advantage if they find that out, you could easily win now . "

" Well, i dont want any one to get hurt, you could die out here behaving like that . Its just a race . "

Back at the Euro camp, he had recovered and was ready set off that night. So was the American , now all bright and bushy tailed ( great support team he had ... must have extra water, electrolytes , vitamins ) - regardless that I I could have sworn I heard him say he threw the towel in the day before and gave up .

I think he was actually the first to get near the town destination , but 'they all' had decided, at some time, to now wait for each other and all walk in to town together .

It was declared a 3 way tie .


Yeah ..... right . ;)



[ Bit of a silly concept, I imagine the Aboriginal wouldn't do as good compeating with Innuit in their own territory :D
this is similar to story of reaching the south pole, the norwegian guy had trained for years with the arctic eskimos before he set out for it, the british team on the other hand had refused to get any help from the ''primitive people'' and lost.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,274
Australia
#59
Its the 'English way' . Euros took skis, snow shoes and dog sleds to the Antarctic.

English took horses and even a motor car :)

1560635707276.png



1560635519677.png

Here it is pulling some sleds

and here it is 'going' uphill in snow;

1560635654796.png


In the 60s , Aussies tried it again - these bloody things are everywhere !




1560635949715.png


1560636078191.png

although modern designs and technologies make 'automobiles' more viable in polar regions now ;

1560636174174.png

And now they race 'street cars' there

1560636290987.png

Ernest Shackleton's great-grandson drives to the South Pole in a Hyundai Santa Fe



Hmmmm ... maybe I should make a new thread about 'Automotive history of Antarctica ?

1560636374241.png
Terra Nova Antarctic motor sledge. Motor mechanic Bernard Day (1884-1934) working in October 1911 on the engine of one of the
motorized sledges used on the British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913).