13 December 2011
The Land Down Under Anthropologist live amongst the people they study in order to take part in their daily lives so the have an understanding of their culture as if they were part of it. Today we will be ethnographers as we study Australia. The study of the southern continent Australia has brought a vast amount of information on cultural, religious, and traditional studies of the people.
Australia is a home to over 460,000 people. There are over 500 languages spoken in Australia the most common one is people take over approximately 2.2% of the total Australian population. The first people to settle on Australia were the aboriginal people. Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia before the first Europeans began their exploring. A man named Captain James Cook possessed the East Coast claiming the territory calling it New South Wales. Free settlers and former prisoners established six colonies; New South Wales, Tasmania, Van Diemen’s Land, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland. These six colonies became states. Aboriginal people live in all parts of Australia but there is a large concentration in Queensland. The continent is broken into six different areas, with 300 communities. Australia is very diverse and full of many different people who have different views on religion. The dominate religion in Australia is Christianity but the majority of the people view life in a way defined as dreamtime. Dreamtime is a period in time long ago when the ancestors believe the world and Australia was created. The aboriginals believe that when their ancestors first entered into this world, the earth was a flat black surface with nothing on it. The way the world is now is a direct result of the previous aboriginal people and how ancestors created it. This belief combines the past, present, and the future. They also believe in Kinship. Kinship influences marriage decisions. By adulthood people will know exactly how to behave. They will have respect toward these land areas and toward each other. Kinship is about meeting the obligations of their one’s clan. It puts people in a specific relationship to each other as well as relationships with and areas based on their clan. These relationships have roles and responsibilities. Australia is a traditional place where they love to celebrate. One big celebration they have is Christmas. Christmas is held on the 25th of December. Protestant and Roman Catholic churches hold Christmas Day services. Australians celebrate this day because it is the birth of Jesus. For this holiday people decorate their houses, send out greetings cards to family and friends, and sing carols. They like to get together on the Bondi Beach. Over 40,000 people go to the beach Christmas day. Art and plays a large role in Australian life. Rock engraving and ground paintings are common forms of art that can be found almost anywhere in Australia. Complementary designs and Ground paintings have a huge impact on the leisure of Australia. The only people who can create ground paintings are all men. . The process of becoming a ground painter is long and grueling. Men are put through torturous rituals to be an accepted ground painter. All ground painters must be over forty years old, and have an assistant known as a “correct man” who is under forty. The extensive ritual filled with pain and discomfort is what gives ground painters the respect from the public that they receive. Without art, Australia would not be the country that is so deeply routed in its culture and traditions as it is. Ground mosaics are the most elaborate of artworks. Tiwi…