The Dreamtime – Northern Territory Aboriginals | Aborigines in Australia Documentary

After two centuries of colonial tragedy the Austrilian aboriginals took control of their destiny.

The Aboriginal land rights act as a signof political awareness which began in the sixty's.

From then on the local population of claimedthe right to own their ancestral land nature reserves were created and were part managedby government institutions and aboriginal tribes.

This caused a profitable tourist industry to flourish the primitive art forms fasinate the modern world.

The Austrilian national tourist board sets up a native branch chaired by Aden Ridgeway.

The first M.

P.

from an Aboriginal background.

And a symbolic figure for legal and politicaldevelopment.

I was born in Macksville I am a gumbangie man I grew up in an aboriginal community right on the river.

We spent a lot of our time fishing diving forcrabs going over the beach and digging for shellfish which we called pippies my qualificationis from the university of life that meant many things I had to teach myself about reading and writing about understandingthe English language and once you comprehend.

those things and then I think it makes iteasier to understand how the law works public policy.

And using that as an example for a lot ofthe young people from my own community that even if we drop out of the formal educationalsystem.

You still can succeed and you can find otherpathways to move forward.

In the past that's never been allowed and languages we've been told should not be spoken.

And most of all that we should forget aboutwho we are and where we come from.

Tourism gives us a vehicle.

It allows us to sit in the front seatthe challenge for us is to understand the stories that we want to share and how muchof it we want to share and keep those things thatare sacrred to us as things of belong to family clan and community we get a chanceto tell an Aboriginal history about this sacrred place.

I relate a lot to the story that I was taughtby my grandmother which is about two giant clever turtle's they came from the dream time bringinga large piece of land with them then across the ocean bits and pieces broke off alongthe journey.

Another piece broke off into two the youngerone.

A little lazyier he decided to stay with that land and didn't do a good job at cementing it to the bed of the sea theolder and wiser turtle continued on his journey and cemented the land to the bed of the seaand he became part of the spirit of the land that we now know as Australia the other oneacross the oceans is a little place called New Zealand and all the other places are theislands in the South Pacific.

He talks about the creation of the SouthernHemisphere how we came to be and most of all if we are to make tourism work for Aboriginal people.

It does come back to stories we have to rememberthose and pass them from the old to the young and for the ones to come in thefuture.

That's what terrorism is about for Aboriginal people.

In the heart of Aboriginal society the dream time or Tjukurpa is the essence of theworld the Tjukurpa ancestors great spirits preceded life for each tribe the social lawsand the relationship with the environment ensued from the dream time.

In the northern territory the rainbow snake is a major spirit amongthe mythological characters with links to earth water and fire that can do good as wellas punish anyone who breaks the law.

In the southwest of Arnhem Land the Jawun peoplecall it Balong with a huge body a rainbow snake cut a path through huge rocky expenseswhile slithering along it created the Catherine Gorges in the nicknme look nature reserve it's natural traces have become sacred places where the Jawun people weave spiritual links between the past the present and the future.

At the top end the integration between whiteAustralians and the indigenous population has come about after nearly a century of laboringin the huge cattle breading stations in the outback.

Some stations such as Kakadoo havebeen converted back into nature reserves.

The tourist industry has developed local handicraftproduction which is now an economy for the Aboriginal communities.

At Katherine.

Mimi arts and craft belongs to a well knowncooprative in the Northern territory.

Barbara looks after the shops finances.

She was born in Melbourne and lived an indigenouslife from the age of thirteen with her mother who'd come to settle in Darwin.

I'm trying to pay money into artist account in Normalone we are in a town called Katherine.

And we have three banks and if I transferit in cash it will be paid into there account today? Yes.

Good thanks very much Simone.

Bye bye its hard work.

The artists that we're trying to pay come from Normanwa which is a very remote community on the Gulf of Carpentaria and we have around about twenty two communities plus small family groups.

This one here is also from Normanwa thatsa woman's digging stick or fighting stick.

They use it for walking they use it for digging and they use it for fighting.

These were all used for various reasons you know for carrying.

They put them on there head like so and when there in the water just putting it in like so.

This one is called Gorrfon the colors are from the bush.

They're not bought in a shop the peoplego out and find and dig up and then they make the color shills with seeds.

When you see all of these shells come from Normanwa at the sea every single one has got a beautifulpattern on it.

These are seeds these are shells.

If you're travelling around with your groupand somebody passes away is dying.

You can't carry them all the way around.

So they put them on a platform at the treesand nature does it work.

The animals the birds the ants is doing the work and then they come back aroundnext year and pick up the bones.

Then they can carry them back and have the big burial service.

In the long bones are put down and some bones are ground up.

And this is the coffin sarcophagus All of these are from eucalyptus sometimes different eucalyptus you can have yellow jack blood wood stringybark.

This is how it starts off this is the termiteswork they go out and knock the wood to see if it is eaten by the termites but women maynot play the didgeridoo but I am allowed to blow.

Thats that one this one is Micky hall you hear the difference in the tone.

These are Mimi's.

Mimi's are creatures spirt creatures mythilogical spirit creatures.

That's the long skinny one.

They live in the trees in the rocks.

In stones and they come out when they wish.

Most of them come out at night.

These are the short fat ones.

This is the stinking Mimi he's called the stinky Mimi because he is carrying carrying dilly bags with blood and meat in them.

They get rotten and they smell.

so he's called the stinking mimi he livesin the jungle.

And all of these are pigions and they come to him.

They must like that stinking smell I think.

This one is a numerodow the night mimi.

This one is showing the same one this is numerodow its got this craw footis the night the night mimi and he's the soul stealer you see him here.

He's stealing your soul.

Byloom Thats there Jamie affects interpretation of the Rainbow Serpent.

Most of the adoriginal art works are not signed this artist is signing becausehe knows that some Western people like to have to signature on the front of the painting.

Our Grandfather and the grandmother used to tella story about what it means and we boarded but it in the canvas like this and it shows to touriststo look for the riches that came to Austrila.

And come to the garden and take it into the Curduin an old sort of little birds is called pigions also come in and tried to steal there seeds but the people used to hand them away butthey still keep on coming back.

Pigions they come on the side to eat all the seeds.

Shoo shoo.

Barbara takes us to Beezwick a community withTommy Luis lives an actor of international fame.

Mimi artists got a very long history it wasstarted in nineteen seventy eight by a group of Aboriginal people and they came together a gentleman by thename of Raymond Fortemale and a gentleman use name I can't say yet he's just passed away.

They got together with a lot of other peopleand they decided they needed to do something for themselves for their economy.

They started this mimi arts and crafts.

First of all they were just making dijerydoos and art and they went all over the Northern Territorytop part here up into Arnham land and right over into Western Australia down into thedesert collecting art and artifacts and marketing things for the people giving them a reasonto make there art.

So I said maybe I can help because I was studying Aboriginal artand issues and language.

The first two years I did it for nothing for whyI don't know because it had to be done.

They are a new found relatively new found people.

It's only one hundred one hundred fifty years that thesepeople have been coming in contact with the white people none aboriginal culture hasinvaded very very deeply now and we have probably a bit of a culture crisis maybe itmust be much harder for the Aboriginal people because their stepping such a big stepsuch a big step.

In many people's lives here unfortunately a ruled by government policyand because I'm white and I'm well educated.

I understand government policy so I becomea port of call for people here.

They need help with anything related to government or even non government with banking with social security with insurance with health you name it.

People come here because they know me.

I'm not.

I'm married here so I'm not a white Institution.

So they're more comfortable even though they'rekind of agency set up here to help people.

People come here first.

Everything is is drawn like you know thespider web.

And its it splits like this every where and the dialegues spreads too as the songs they changed too but it comes from one river.

The sun the moon and the sea and the wind should not change we need it.

and for our songs and dances you looking at our church.

You need stained glasses to make it all colourful.

I don't need to it's already there every placethroughout Ardlenet has a very significant meaning in church in relation we've all married here is the middle of all Arnamland that travel.

This will have to say to the rivers that were our roads.

This is all the language of all the families that met for here to Borngula and all the rest of Arnanland is my home.

But anywhere else I don't really care.

But you know it's in our country we don'town the land.

It takes us we don't take it.

It's like the glacier and the flood whereeverything went down that way to the west.

Song lines the creator right at travel thatway if you follow that song line you meet where it swings to the middle of the country and youcan see all that land man.

Its amazing.

And then boomf out.

And the Rainbow Serpent never goes to sleepturn twist turn twist day and night day and night.

And everything up there is a reflection down here.

The Milky Way the whole lot true.

This is the symbol of the morning star and they join the cords and we dance.

All around the world all musical instrument is based on a drone through the drone inside are singing.

It's only made north of Capricorn and thetechnique of it is the circle of breathing.

But is not continuous like a steam train.

You just got to learn to control your breath.

Say one more.

One more.

Where I come from its nuclear family mom dad kids.

You might have aunties and cousins but but the nuclear unit is the foundation of white Austrila andup here it's not like that at all.

If I was in Melbourne with two little kids I'd spend mywhole day stuck in a flat tearing my hair out or drinking sherry or whatever you knowmy mother in law as most people do.

But up here my children know everybody in this community and everybody in this community know my children and I can pass my kids to one person and I'll go round and round around the village and come back a couple of hours later perfectly happy.

In this culture you my not speak orinteract with your mother in law.

If you see your mother in law coming you better get out of the way you can't lookat her you can talk to.

And it's pure genius that's the best rulein the world.

You know.

So it's part of these.

These huge set of social rules of interaction that keep that keep the keep the law going really that keep the communitystrong and I think that that kinship pattern is the the kind of last bastion of Aboriginalculture it's the one thing that hasn't been busted up and it's the one thing that absolutelyhas to be hung on to.

Because it's the fabric of these people ittakes a long time to learn it but when you know it its its very smart.

The natural researve of Caackadoo is a NUNESCO listed World Heritage site.

The steep cliffs made up of red earth in the Northeastconstitute a natural boundary with Arminland.

This flood plain of twenty thousand squarekilometers is home to an impressive variety of wildlifeand to some of the most prestigious represtal art sites.

The actual important things for gettingpeople is these paintings have a story beyond them and that story is older than the actual paintings theyare these paintings are basicly a lot of the animals symbolic of this country thats around us and country has changed over fifty sixty thousand years aboriginal people seen this they seen the environment they seen the changes and they added they new the value of this.

And so they they did a lot of artwork andthe artwork if you like is like an archive of events that happened in the past animalsthat would have been existing back fifty thousand years ago have been drawn and we're talkingabout carnivorous kangaroos we're talking about very large wombat.

like animals that existed and walked inthis country aboriginal people seen it and they painted it.

It was something done thousands of years ago.

And so we're only doing enactments if you like of our people from the past talk about these beautiful country here.

Talk about these beautiful paintings and thatif you like is very special to a lot of people to hear that.

The the history involved the way that aboriginal people see things through their eyes.

That means that the culture is alive and thatis very important to.

a lot of being like myself whos a beingfrom Kackadoo.

Works in Kackadoo.

It's it is our our culture that will present to the world ina culture that we must respect and of course by talking about that.

From the dream time to short eared rock wallabys crossed over the khaki billabongs leaving behind them two huge crevices.

On Newlangly rock an artist and contemporary hunterwho goes by the name of Najohn Bongly painted the ansestors great spirits.

Its a european name which is known as Nalangly Aboriginal people known as Burnguy which is an name of the rock and the maingalleries underneath this massive big rock is called Arm bung bung which is where allthe galleries are a large figure that's on a his name is Nameajob he was the fellowthat actually.

Well actually set up on a rock and he shouldent have been sitting with his sister which in our culture is wrong.

But anyway he was and unfortunately.

In the dream time the people that were spiritsin those times actually found out that he had done the wrong thing.

So they hunted him down Caught him.

And tied him to a big strike.

And then what they did was a bound his handsand feet with vines but a couple of logs logs around him and what happened wascommenced to send him on fire his back was on fire and he took off and jumped intoa large billabong which is the opposite side of between two rocks theres a little lenange and a big lenanger.

And in the very close by theres actually a big billabong called Arnbungbung billabong.

And he actually dove into there and what happened was he changed into a crockadille a spirit of the crockadille which is known as Geen of easedays.

So when you see crocodiles floating on top ofthe water these days there back looks like its been charred and burnt and As people will recognise the spirit of him beingin the crocodile.

The biggest reptile has existed for over twomillion years freshwater estrie crocodiles live in khaki do these species are protectedand the numbers are increasing.

all across the northern coastal territory.

These animals come out of the salt watersystems via the south alagator river or the east aligator river.

Coming up into these freshwater areas beforethe general public come six weeks National Park Rangers will put traps in the water willput flowtations in the water and what they do with these is roll them in fish oil orput some meat inside.

Make then smell attractive tie them up and justleave them for a couple of days in the saltwater crocodiles are very inquisitive just likefreshwater crocodiles they'll come up have a bite on it leave there teeth impressionthis size hole is something like a four meter crocodile saltwater crocodilehas made that penetration.

Now the smaller ones here.

They are the Johnson freshwater crocodile.

Salt water crocodiles who have adapted to freshwater and generally what's happening is the smallerones two two and a half meter crocadiles are coming up into here to find their own territory.

That's what they're doing becausethe bigger crocadiles in the main water systems are chomping on themand pushing them further and further up.

In the dream time on Arminland lying across fromthe Gulf of Carpentaria the Gambulabula ancestor bought the Edaci or dijerydoo to the Yongdoo people in theeucalyptis forest made up of the long stringy barkcradled by the sea winds blowing in from Goocula the Garma Festival celebrates till today anage old Orley transmitted culture.

The sound of the edacky and clap sticks.

This is Jawaccoliy he is the local master.

About seventy years old.

Nobody knows his real birth date.

And people come from all over theworld to meet him all the time.

Today we're going out and seeing how the instrumentsare found and crafted.

This is the first check then chopping on the bottom to make sure the bottomhole looks like he wants it too.

Second check and then if that looks good the whole three comes down.

Next check is cutting the top part where the mouth is goingto be.

And again don't want it to big.

Don't want it blocked.

My wisdom knowledge they gave me my farther.

Your farther yes.

But strong.

Powerful.

From here up up they talk like changing the tourway there going that way besides the tounge in the front.

Fifty years ago the Yongdoo people campained against brooksidemining in Arminland after removal of the land sacred Dora the aboriginal tribes wereleft no other option but to send a petition written on bark to the government proving theirancestral rights to the land ownership.

The private income from the mining activitynow finances the Garma Festival.

This is teradackee just cut from the bush so now where going to use some tools on it.

Its a digerydoo but up here they call it a udackee its different to Tasmainia you needto make your lips go all floppy and go.

This little boy Kevin his mother is Selma his grandmother is Doppy his grandfather is Ja Loo.

This little boy and he was born prematurely his mother had to be flown to Darwin to have to have this little one would be sick when he was born he and his mother Selma flew back to gov district hospital.

And this is when I started to care for him.

He had a tube down his nose that we used to feed him with him gradually he grew upbigger and stronger and was able to feed at the breast all the time.

When he got so big he was able to go home to his mom to his family.

Sometimes these women have to leave theirfamilies for sometimes a month to have their babies with us in this hospital.

Some of these women have never been to anotherarea other than there homeland.

And it is very hard for them they miss theirhome terribly.

I was never educated about indigenous ways and to come here at my age and to try and learn a very complicated language to try and learn about a very complicatedfamily tree and to try and learn about their culture is difficult but being difficult makesit very challenging and very very interesting.

And it's something to embrace.

How to make theres a speacial word for these billy bag.

How to make billy bags.

When you do it it looks so easy.

When I do it.

I began to listen to my father.

And his brothers of broader more songs.

And as time just wasn't sure how to pronounce the languageor sing the cycle and then.

It took me about Four five months.

And then my family members over there fromRamasgutawa.

Which is where children of the clan nation by the name of weall taught me.

How to sing in that cycle call them winwinerwees through that process I got to the stage that I would be in that clan nation and will be all the time.

And whilst and will be forever.

With traditional dances songs and paternsthe ritual ceremonies known as the choral gary simbiles the living legacy of the ansestors.

At sunset the youngdong tribes reenact the spiritualityof the great spirits of Jacorpra the Dremtime.

Well I'm finished now so I make some some glue with water put it on there there so so it so it seals.

And I used sand paper to sand it smooth so its very nice now.

Very glad with the result.

Lino And we sort of cut design.

Im using a razor the lines will be fine freshwater water lilly.

And this design belongs to my clan.

Garpool Water lilies as well as the reptitles that live in it fresh water file snake as well as the python the rainbow snake.

It's I can'texplain how but the rainbow serpent is us as well.

So strength the knowledge and the wisdom the land is us and we are the land and thats how it is.

This is probably an E a low E betweenD and E this one.

It has a quite heavy sound.

Ifyou can't compare it with what we play back home.

We use we use alot of the cheeks stuff like that and here they don't really use it.

It comes really from here.

That's something from this area pointed by homeland pointed by a people where they come from like son and mother.

Son and mother.

That karma is happening like a karma will get together people and show that its the way.

This belongs to Yerata and this belongs to Uuah.

Where driving to slow In the soft sand there and lots of weight and with all the weight where stuck.

Where supposed to do at least one of those for every trip out for the tourists.

Watch your fingers there.

This is the first lever ever made by man.

You look for a shadow.

Stick your barbs like a bone it i'll go straight through your wrist through your shin very painful.

Walk gently walk quietly no splashing just drag your feet cause if the sting rays in front of you he will hear you.

Stingray Going to get the spike out.

The eyes.

Can I hold it? Tell me what it feels like.

Put your finger in here.

Does's it feel cool? You but your fingers in its eyes.

This is birth place of Erarke it startshere many many thousands of years ago it start here.

And it belongs here.

It is very strong here.

So to come into this country and to learnit is a very honour is very big honour people all over the world they play urarkie they want to learn and whenthey learn it means they interested in Aboriginal culture and it's keeping it alive andour world as they they teach us.

So they keeping it alive and then for us toteach it keeps it alive and the circle continues.

So whether you're white black red brindleor whatever color.

Whatever your background.

If you are interested in Aboriginal culture andyou're showing support for that then you are keeping our culture alive Aboriginal culturewas oppressed suppressed and it put people into a depression because of their pride inthemselves and their culture and our government that is from this country our white governmentthat came in as an invading force wanted to stop Aboriginal culture because for them itwas like heathen and for many many years.

They tried to keep Aboriginal people downand put them down make them slaves and oppress them.

But now they are starting to learn the beautyof our culture.

So for us to teach the beauty is now goingpast all the bad bad that happened in this country and that's something that we shouldembrace.

Because people now instead of shooting blackfellows and slaving like fellows they are now coming and asking about our culture.

If they did that two hundred years ago.

Then this would be totally different country.

Yahkeriki is power The heart your heart my heart there ringing.

It was good good experience to you to learn fromJoel Lewa yes to hear his stories and I take it all in yes its good I've been in my countryfor twenty one years and I haven't experienced any Aboriginal culture and I thought it was you know time to get a bit to know about the indiginious people cause I know theres alot going on at the moment with I know theres a lot of trouble going on.

So I want to see the people for myselfand just feel them you know.

See what was going on and I really felt there realy nice people nice warm people and I think and I think Austriala needs to see you know.

Indigenous tourism helps to reconcile thetwo different Austrilian peoples.

The Europeans want to be forgiven for thetragic colonial period the Aborigines try to preserve there ancient roots from the present andthe future.

But the geographical isolation of the indigenous communities faced with economicaldevelopment underlines the fragile balance between tradition and modern life at the beginningof the twenty first century the life expectancy of a white Austrilian is ten years greater than that of an Aboriginal counterpart.

Will the worlds environmental problems bringthe two civilizations together? Preserving the Austrialan continents biodiversityon a short term basis represents a sustainable complementary interests for the two peoplestechnological advantage will profit from the use of ancestral knowledge.

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