The native population of Australia seems to occupy this continent since nearly 50 000 years. It is one of the most primitive of the world, regarding their features (linked to the Cromagnon man, the first Homo sapiens sapiens) as well as regarding their technical level (mesolithique). On the contrary, their social organisation is very elaborated : a chief directs the daily life but he is under the Ancients Council¹s authority, who can appeal, if necessary, to the popular Assembly, in which all men have an egal right of decision. At the end of the XVIIIth century, the encounter with the Europeans was, as usual, a desaster. Evaluated at about 400 000 members, the aboriginal population at that time was decimated very quickly, especially by smallpox epidemics. Most of their territories were spoliated and the population lived until 1967 in camps from where they did not have the right to get out. Their number descended to 100 000 (some say even to 30 000).


Before the arrival of the Europeans, all the Australians tribes were hunters and pluckers. During the dry season (november to december), big gatherings took place around the water points. During the other seasons, the tribes were scattered in small groups and they sauntered on immense semi-desert territories, the bush, in the search of food. As for all the primitive societies, the ground belongs to the tribe and can neither be sold nor exchanged. The natives also belong to the ground : they do not live only in one place, the place lives in them (in the same way that our children do not belong to us : we who belong to them, we are only responsible of them). When an invader digs mines, it perforates the body and the heart of any indigenous. To belong to its time does not require any effort; to belong to its place requires a permanent creativity. As nomads, the aboriginals do not bother of «being» or «having», they are interested only in becoming. It is energy and its metamorphoses which is their motivation and not the Substance, could it be material or spiritual. Life is a journey to be invented

Relations with the modern world

In 1967, the aboriginals are finally authorized to leave their reserves and to circulate on their own grounds; they become Australian citizens with whole share, having voting rights. Since 1976, the government encourages the self-management of the reserves and follows even a compensation and refund policy of the grounds. If the indigenous population went up to 200.000 members, its living conditions became deplorable : the rates of alcoholism, delinquency and mortality did not cease climbing. The money and the easy surge of consumer goods became an additional factor of destructuration, at the great despair of the new Western managers. Few "blacks" have acquired an university level. With the exception of the tribes of the central desert and north, isolated from the White, the interracial tensions are exacerbated...

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