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Thread: Indigenous Cultures

  1. #1

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    Smile Indigenous Cultures

    I thought i would start this thread to try and learn more about this countries Indigenous Culture.

    I know a little bit and i have heard a few stories- and i would love to hear more- so i thought i would start a sharing circle of Stories and other tid bits that people may like to share.

    The first story i would like to share is the

    Curlew and the Owl- Narunga; Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

    Owl, Winda was once a man who lived with his two large dogs in a cave in the cliffs. Everyday he would go out hunting. Near by on the beach lived two Curlews(wunlaru), husband and wife, with several young children. These two also used to go hunting, leaving their children behind.
    One day, Owl seeing them gone, went to their camp and encouraged his dogs to eat their children; "There is meat for you, my dogs"
    When the Curlew parents came back and saw the remains of their children, they dropped what they were carrying and wept bitterly- this is the call of the Curlew today. They burried what was left of their children, and promised eachother that they would be avenged. Curlew Man set off for the cliffs where Owl lived and in the near by scrub he met Kangaroo, Gudla. He persuaded Kangaroo to serve as a decoy. "You go and feed infront of owls cave, so he will see you. he will send one of his dogs out after you, but you run into the dense scrub. I'll be hiding in there> Leave the rest to me." Kangaroo did this and Curlew emerged from his hiding place and killed the dog with a club. The next day the same arrangements were made, and the second dog killed. On the third day Curlew Man climbed the cliff to the enterance of the Owls cave. Standing there, he called to Owl to come out and fight, but Owl would not answer. Nor would he come out. After waiting for some time, Curlew Man put a curse on him:
    No one will like you
    You will never go out in day time to get food
    You will feed only at night
    You will not be able to see in the light
    You will not be able to see in the sun
    Stay There stay there

    So even today the owl lives in caves and dark places. Curlew returned to his wife "There is nothing else for us to do- our children are gone and we cant make any more" he said to his wife. so they turned themselves into Curlews, but they still mourn for their lost children.


    That was a story form the Dream Time- translated in 1940
    I hope that other people have some stories to share too...

    Thankyou
    StarBright



  2. #2

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    What a great idea cant say i know any but will enjoy reading more

  3. #3

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    Thanks StarBright, great thread.
    I don't have any stories to share. But I do have a question for anyone who knows the answer.
    When I was at school we did assignments on Indigenous people and were told to call them 'Aborigines', now people say 'Aboriginals', which is the right way?? And is one way wrong for any reason? I never know which one to say and don't want to offend anyone if there's a reason you're not supossed to say it some way!!

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    Good question Sara- i am unsure of the answer, the book i have uses both references. i will look into it!

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    hey Sarajane,
    My BIL is Aboriginal and he prefers to be called that than Aboriginie.I'm not sure why so will have to ask him.

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    Doesn't it mean the samething?

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    As far as I was aware Aborigine is considered to be a derogatory and offensive term. I'm not sure if it is because of its early association, but I learnt about it in early high school so its been considered negative for some time now. Aboriginal or Indigenous Australian is what I was taught to be correct.

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    I love the Rainbow Serpent, and Booyooburra (from the Wakka Wakka people).

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    I think, I might be wrong, that some Indigenous people prefer to be called (as a group) by their local tribe name if you know it. Such as the Koori's and the Noongars (sp?) ... but unfortunately i often forget and get confused. I wish that each state would have signage near the roads (like those brown historical ones) saying "you are now entering Koori traditional lands"... like "you are now entering the state of Victoria". I think that would of great educational benefit to us all and display a lot of respect.

  10. #10

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    I love the story of Tiddalik, I have a childrens book called 'The frog who wouldn't laugh' by Cecilia Egan and illustrated by Elizabeth Ager. It is a version of the story for children though isn't an exact version and doesn't have where it is derived from in the book. But this is the story:

    'The frog who wouldn't laugh' by Cecilia Egan and illustrated by Elizabeth Ager.
    "Tiddalik was a giant frog. He was not just big, he was enormous! He was the largest frog ever known- his bulging eyes looked out over the tree tops: over the hill tops and even over some low clouds.
    Tidalik was as big as a mountain.
    One morning Tiddalik woke up feeling thirsty. In fact he was not just thirsty, he was enormously, gigantically, terribly thirsty.
    He drank a puddle, the drank a billabong, then a lake then a river and -oh dear! Tiddalik drank up all of the fresh water in the world.
    There was nothing left for the other animals to drink and no water for the trees and plants. All the animals and plants started dying. If they didn't get some water soo, Tiddalik would be the only creature left alive in the world!
    "Tiddalik, please open your mouth and let out the water for us!" they begged. But Tiddalik swollen up with water, just sat there with his mouth shut and did not even open it to reply.
    The animals did not know what to do. They could not think of any way to make the great big fat frog let out the water they needed so desperately, until a wise old wombat said "If we could just make him laugh, Tiddalik would open his mouth!"
    So all of the animals tried to make Tiddalik laugh.
    The Kangaroo jumped over the emu, the lizard waddled around on his hind legs with his stomach sticking out and the kookaburra told his funniest stories, which were so funny that the other animals rolled about laughing!
    They lyre bird even ticked Tiddalik witha feather. But it was no use. THe great big frog just sat there staring. He didn't even smile!
    "It's nou use", said the animals sadly, "Nothing will make him laugh."
    Just then the eel began to dance. He started witha slow, dignified movement, but danced faster and faster until he was wriggling and twisting himsefl into the funniest and strangest shapes, tying himself into knots!
    And Tiddalik began to shake . He shook harder and harder as if a great big laugh was beginning somewhere in his tummy. It rumbled up and up and all at once Tiddalik's mouth opened and a huge laugh roared out!
    With that, all of the water he had drunk gushed out like a fountain and flowed away to fillup the lakes, swamps, riverbeds and billabongs.
    The animals all danced for joy, and congratulated the eel for being the only one who could make Tiddalik laugh!"

    Woah that was longer than I thought....but I love the story!! Hope you did too, if you got this far!

  11. #11

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    This is a bot off topic but I'm just wondering if anyone knows why some of the indigenous art at the Art Gallery has signs asking people not to take photos of it.
    I'm assuming that it's a cultural thing because it's ok to photograph all the other art.

  12. #12

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    I think that Aboriginals believe that when someone takes your photo it captures your spirit - it could be something to do with that.

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    I was taught Aboriginie is the noun, and Aboriginal the adjective.

    DF and I have been discussing this (and the other!) thread, and have decided we need to find out how to teach our little boy, who is of Irish / English / Scots blood, the local history through the local peoples' eyes.

    Any ideas anyone?

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    I wonder if it's because the painting was done by a since deceased artist? they strongly dislike viewing photos of their deceased... it could relate to artwork too maybe? although the first thing that popped into my mind was so that people couldn't exploit the images although if you can take piccys of the other paintings...

  15. #15

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    Thanks Kellie! I enjoyed reading that! I guess thats why the eel lives in the rivers!!!

    I have another one....

    Echidna and Tortoise
    GunbalangWestern Arnham Land

    In the begining Echidna Woman, Wombilbaia, and fresh Water Toroise Man, Mangili, were in human shape. But one day, at a place on the Marganala Plain in jiwadja tribal territory, they quarrelled about a snail.
    Both wanted to eat it.
    At last Tortoise, in a rage picked up a bundle of light bamboo spears and threw them at the echidna; they stuck in her back and became quills. Echidna retaliated by picking up a large flat stone and throwing at at Tortoise; it stuck to his back, like a shell. That is how they became what they are today.

    I think this is going to be a great way to share stories- i do know that they are supposed to be passed orally though- LOL i will read mine out loud while i type!!

    I have been reading some more of my very thick book called The World of the First Australiams written by Ronald m and Catherine Berndt. Its where i am getting any stories from that i am sharing, it is a very detailed read- its taken me years because its not really a book to sit and read, but its been very interesting, I have been tring to find if there were special times for certain stories or Cooroboree's- it seems more like it was just based on when certain people were ready to hear certain things- one part i found wuite funny was that if a young man was known to be silly or recklace he didnt receive all the knowledge IYKWIM His elders would deem him un worthy of special things and he would live his life as a joker- and not be bothered at all by it!!

    Keep the stories coming- i like them!!

  16. #16

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    ooHH- people were saying stuff while i was posting!!

    Dach- i agree with Rachel and Bath- along the lines of "capturing" the sprirt.

    Kazba- i would look in your local area for a Community Centre- they often have story telling days and art exhibitions- It would depend on your area and what the community is doing there- Maybe start doing some research your slef in books and on the net- you already have 3 stories you can tell him

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazbah View Post
    I was taught Aboriginie is the noun, and Aboriginal the adjective.
    Wow really?! I was never taught that. In a lot of the text from colonial times Indigenous Australians are referred to as Aborigines or so I wonder if thats where the offensiveness comes from? I've googled a bit and can only find stuff that states "aborigine" is deemed as offensive but not an actual reason. I wish I'd been more awake in social studies LOL!

    Sorry for overtaking your thread Starbright... just trying to educate myself I guess

  18. #18

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    Its all good- thats what the thread is for- to learn the culture as well as tell stories and encourage people to start looking into stuff!! Its all good in my eyes!! Keep it coming!!!

    I sort of thought a similar thing to Kazbah, but i do vaugley recall also hearing about one of the other terms being offensive- i prefer to use Indegenous so i dont use the wrong one!! I try to use the Tribal name or recognised Land owners- if i know it
    I liked the idea of the signs on the high way!! I think its a good idea!! I tried to hear the name of one the other day and- boy - they are hard to pronounce and try to understand!! Very complex!

    Any way- just wanted to say that questions are fine coz it encourages us to look into things more!!

    Keep them coming!


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