When I watched Australia, directed by the wonderful Baz Luhrman, starring the beautiful Ozziens Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, I couldn't help but be drawn in by the wonderful characters, beautiful scenery and Aboriginal culture. Although most will probably focus on the extremely hot body of Hugh Jackman and the love affair between him and Nicole Kidman, this story has so much more too it than that. Although as an audience i'm sure we can all agree we feel for the poor Aboriginal boy Nullah, how many of us actually realized the reality of his life in all it's technicolor sadness? I myself never really looked into the background of the Aboriginal trials and tribulations that were expressed in this beautiful movie, and i'm a bit of a history buff but this was purely because I'd never really heard about it.
But then I read the play known as 'The Rez Sisters' written by Aboriginal native, Tomson Highway. And it got me thinking about what actually happened to the Aborigines, I mean we hear about their cave paintings and most have a rough stereotypical idea of what a traditional Aborigine looks like but do we actually know what happened to them??? I mean we've all heard of the black slave trade and what happened to them, and the Nazi antics with the Jew's, both having had lots of media coverage (rightly so) but we really don't know much about Aborigines. Honestly I think Australia is the only big, modern film I've heard of that even mentions them!
So here's a quick low down of what actually happened, to the Aborigines:
Firstly, theirs different types. You've got Australian Aborigines, Canadian Aborigines, Tasmanian Aborigines and Taiwanese Aborigines (and more but these are the mains). Within these geographically located cultures, you have different kinds of Aboriginal nations, such as in Canadian Aboriginal tribes, you have the Inuits, the Metis and the 'First Nations'. These are all now seen as cultural minorities, all Aborigines are basically the indigenous peoples of the land (the first peoples to inhabit). Then what happened was, the 'white man' came and decided to take over those lands (as they bloody do), but different white cultures decided to fight over those lands so the natives got caught up in a brawl for the land which technically should have been theirs. The natives sided with whoever they thought would leave them alone the most, as their small numbers couldn't possibly conquer the white men. Once the white men had conquered with the help of the Aborigines, they didn't know what to do with them, so they built 'Reservations' (kinda like camps) specifically for the Aboriginals, to try and integrate them into their white culture, separating families, making them live in extreme poverty without being able to practice their traditional culture, such as religious beliefs or general way of life.
Then they took a step further, as humanity always does, they decided to take the Aboriginal children away from their families to special schools specifically for Aborigines. These schools would be in remote places like islands or deserts so general white people wouldn't see them. In these schools they would teach the children English and essentially 'beat' out the Aborigine, so they no longer new of Aboriginal culture. These kids would often never find their way home to their families, and when they did, they would not be able to communicate (language barriers), or understand the Aboriginal traditions, creating social problems for Aboriginal people.
These new generations would be beaten, taught to hate their culture, enslaved and lose sight of traditional Aboriginal meanings. So what your left with is, homeless Aboriginal descendants who no longer know the ways of their people, often twisted by the white man, teaching them that women were not equal to men, that drinking and violence was okay and many other social issues.
So now you've got the jist of things, you can see why white society doesn't want to publicize, its again, horrific history of brutally hurting another culture that they deemed less than theirs. BUT we need more media coverage on this, how is it fair that all other racial and cultural brutalities have been covered, except the one that literally tore generations of people apart, not just one generation, but generation upon generation as the systems for Aborigines got worse and worse. The fact of the matter is, their are still many racial discrimination's about Aboriginal people, and the abuse and general cruelty to these people still continues! Not to mention the effects that these 'white men' had on them still resonates today, few really remember the Aboriginal culture before it got tainted by white society, which I think is a shame, because they were originally very peaceful people with some great beliefs, things that society today could definitely learn from. So please publicize the Aboriginal movement, get it talked about, listened to, have it put on our television screens! We need to learn about these cultures and where we went wrong, so we hopefully don't make the same mistake again!!!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! Please Like&Share&Follow for more articles like this!
Please comment your favorite movie/television show/book on Aborigines! I want to learn more!!!