The kinship system is the social relationships that constitute the family connection by blood, marriage, or adoption; family relationship in a particular culture, according to Websters Dictionary. The Australian Aborigines kinship system determines how people interact with each other and it also determines their roles and responsibilities. Within the Australian Aborigines kinship system they use it for a lot more things then say our kinship system, “it is used for marriage funeral roles and ceremonial relationships.
They have a system of classes which puts everybody in a specific kinship relationship. The Australian Aborigines have a cross–cousin marriage rule. Cross–cousins are the children of opposite–sex siblings, such as the father’s sister or the mother’s brother. One could marry his dad’s sister’s daughter or his mom’s brother’s daughter” (Nowak and Laird 2010). Some Australian Aboriginals have many names, like a birth name, personal name or a bush name and some have English speaking names. Their personal names aren’t used by English speakers, but by other Aboriginals in their community (Turpin 2000).
In Australian Aboriginal culture, dreamtime is used when someone is talking about their or their family’s spirituality. It also has many meanings like “the period of creation, the moral order and the source of all spirits. Dreamtime can also refer to a specific geographic or topographic point or a totem spirit (animal spirit recognized as a kin group’s ancestor). It is an all–pervasive philosophy that permeates all aspects of Aboriginal life” (Nowak and Laird 2010).
The Aborigines of Australia have lived the same way with the same culture untouched until 1788. 1788 is the year of the first British fleet to land at Australia and establish a colony. The Aborigines had their own way of life until Australia started to become colonized. At that point they were the oldest surviving race in the entire world. The Aborigines of Australia were a people way before the Egyptians started building the Great Pyramids, before the Greeks started work on the Pantheon and when Britain was a Roman Empire. When the British came to Australia and they encountered the Aborigines they thought of them as primitive and didn’t understand the Aborigines culture.
To the Aborigines land is a spiritual thing and an economic resource; they took care of the land because the land took care of them. It gave them food, wood and tools. They would perform ceremonies too and for the land. They lived and worked in family groups and their camps would have huts for the people to live in and the get out of the elements, but some of the Aboriginals lived in caves or out in the wild open. Some camps were small with only 6 to 12 people and other camps were very large with some being upwards around 400 people. Now the bigger the camp meant the more food that was accessible for how many people who lived in the camp.
Everyday members of the group would go out to hunt and gather food for the whole camp to share (Crystal, 2001). I don’t feel that kinship impacts these same behaviors in my life. The Aboriginals were a lost people in my eye and once the world got to them and made them make changes they may have lost some of their roots. I was raised a totally different way than the Aboriginals are even today. They still try to be themselves as much as they can be. I have seen TV shows where an Aboriginal is walking in Sydney Australia and is just amazed at what we have made the world into.
And in the end it always has the Aboriginal wanting to get back to his land with his people where the land is a spiritual thing and should be taken care of, not tore up and made into metal and machine. I think maybe life would be better if we as people didn’t always want to get a bigger, better something and we were just happy with what we had. Maybe if the British had learned from the Aboriginals instead of employing their views and thoughts and cities and towns, just maybe we as a people today would be a better people and would want to take care of the land that we live in…Maybe taking care of the land would be in my culture.
References Crystal, E. (2001). Australian Aborigines – Indigenous Australians. Retrieved from www. crystalinks. com/aboriginals. html Nowak, B. , Laird, L. (2010). Cultural Anthropology, San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Turpin, M (2000). A Learner’s Guide to Kaytetye. Alice Springs: IAD Press. Retrieved from Kinship and Skin Names, http://www. clc. org. au/People_Culture/kinship/kinship. html Websters Dictionary. Retrieved from: http://www. websters-online-dictionary. org.
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Topic: Australian Aborigines
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