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Facts About Aboriginal Australians: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Aboriginal Australians were original inhabitants of the island continent, and many of their descendants celebrate Aboriginal culture today. In this lesson, learn about the history and traditions of Aboriginal Australians, and discover the challenges they faced when other countries colonized their land.

Land Down Under

Do you ever wonder who might have lived in your country thousands of years ago? Well, if you live on the island continent of Australia (sometimes called the 'Land Down Under'), you could learn about the original people called Aborigines. These were the people who first lived in Australia, and they had a unique culture that is still celebrated today. Let's learn some cool facts about Australian Aborigines.

A satellite view of the island continent of Australia
Australia

Hunter-Gatherers

Aborigines have lived in Australia for over 40,000 years, and it is believed that they came from areas of Asia. These original Australians were hunter-gatherers. This meant that they didn't have the luxury of going to the grocery store when they needed food, like you do today. They also didn't farm or grow crops.

Instead, Aborigines had to depend on finding wild food in order to survive. They trapped animals and gathered plant foods like nuts and berries. They would also go fishing for food, which was a pretty good idea since Australia is surrounded by ocean waters!

Religious Ideas

Most major religions believe in a supreme being who created the universe. The Australian Aborigines had different ideas. They believed in a mythical period of time called the Dreaming. This is very different from what happens when you go to sleep at night!

The Aborigines believed that the Dreaming had a beginning, but no definite ending. During this time, mythical creatures created human life and helped develop rules and laws of how people should behave. Rituals that included dancing and music would be held to celebrate the Dreaming.

Aborigines would often participate in ritual dancing to celebrate the mythical creatures of the Dreaming.
tribal dance

Aboriginal Art

If you like art, you'll be amazed at the creations of the Aborigines. They loved to decorate caves with paintings, and they also would decorate their bodies by painting designs on their faces and arms. Aborigines are known for their dot art, which is a way of creating intricate designs with small, brightly colored dots.

An example of dot art created by Australian Aborigines
Aboriginal art

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