One of the heritages that pretty much defines Australia is the Aboriginals. They have brought many different types of weapons, traditions, clothing styles, and culture to Australia and even the world. The indigenous people of this continent arrived about 40,000 years ago and the aborigines were nomadic. Over the years, they created different customs, traditions, and all kinds of tools and weapons that we still use to this day, or something similar.
Aboriginal Weapons & Tools
The weapons that the aboriginals use(d) are similar to what we use today.
Spears are used by the aboriginals for hunting, fighting, and fishing. Most of the spears are made from light wood such as the Oyster Bay pine sapling. Because of the tall and straightness, they barely had to be worked over a fire. There were also detachable barbed spears that are common across the entire continent. Multi-pronged spears, on the other hand, are used for fishing and found in the north and south-east end of the continent.
Aboriginals were the first to achieve ground edges on cutting tools. They used stone tools to make other tools, chop wood, prepare skins, and prepare food. Today, we would use something along the lines of highly rated kukri machetes that are durable enough to get the job done. We would use these to cut wood, skin animals, kill animals, and do just about anything we could think of. The aboriginals has multiple tools for multiple needs rather than one for multiple needs such as a machete.
Yes, the stereotypical Australian weapon, the boomerang. These were meant to hunt, but they were also used in ceremonies. They can easily kill a smaller animal or knock down a large one. Boomerangs made from heavier wood were meant to hunt kangaroos and lighter ones were meant for duck hunting.
Back in the day, aboriginals used message sticks to communicate with each other. They had over 200 different languages and 600 dialects. There was also no written language, making it difficult to communicate without these sticks. Each stick would be carved to help the carrier remember the message and prove to the person receiving it that the information was genuine. Often, the message sticks were interpreted by diplomats who were multilingual.
Shelter was something that varied based on the weather. When it came to the Atherton Tablelands, homes were commonly made from branches or cane lashed together and covered in bark, grass, or leaves. In the Torres Strait Islands, shelters looked like bee hives and constructed of hatched grass and bamboo poles.
In the Arnhem Land, houses were made from peg-supported paperbark windbreaks during the dry seasons and during the wet seasons, homes were protected from flooding by being raised up on platforms, like those you would see on beachfronts today.
In Southern Australia, shelters varied from whalebone huts to complex house structures with several spaces constructed of rigid bark and poles.
The Aboriginal culture is extremely interesting. There are many things that we still may not know about them and may never know, but for now, these are just some of the basic concepts recorded. As time goes on, i’m sure we will pick up on more of their customs and traditions.