The Australian Aboriginals hold the world’s oldest living culture. They have lived in Australia for over 65,000 years.
Well before the Europeans invaded Australia, Aboriginal people were living on and cultivating the land. At the time of invasion there were over 250 Indigenous languages spoken, including 800 dialects. Since the arrival of Europeans in the 1800’s, Indigenous cultures have been threatened. Cultural Centres help to preserve cultures and educate non-Indigenous people on their significance. These centres also help to support local Aboriginal communities.
The cultural significance of the land
Indigenous communities have a deep connection to their traditional lands. The land informs much of their culture and beliefs from ancestral beings relate to its creation. Their understanding of the land goes beyond soil, rocks, and water. Land is a living, breathing, cultural landscape that is incredibly sacred. This living environment is sustained by community and culture. Aboriginal culture tasks traditional owners with protecting and cultivating Australia. Though Indigenous Dreaming stories vary across the country, many of them tell stories of Australia’s formation by great ancestral beings. Great sights such as Uluru hold a spiritual significance as they are seen as dwellings for these ancestral beings.
Tragic history of the Aboriginal people
After the invasion of the European settlements, the Aboriginal people faced persecution and genocide. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffered heartbreaking abuse, including murder, kidnapping, slavery, and larceny. One of the worst instances of white governmental persecution was the White Australia Policy. The policy saw Aboriginal children stolen from their homes and sent to missions where they would “breed out” Aboriginality. These children became known as the Stolen Generations. In 2008 the Australian government made a formal apology for these horrific events. However the effects of this policy is still felt by Aboriginal people, and they still face many unjust prejudices and racism in today’s society.
What you can see at the Cultural Centre
Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre is within the ancient landscape of the Aussie outback. The award winning centre offers visitors an insight into the unique history and culture of the region. Take a step back in time as you immerse yourself in the historic Indigenous culture of the land’s traditional owner, the Anangu people. A local guide will take you through the centre, teaching you about Anangu culture. After this, discover the galleries bursting with incredible art by local Aboriginal artists. If you’re feeling peckish, head to the onsite cafe. Enjoy delicious cakes and refreshing drinks. The centre helps to support the Anangu people financially and give non-indigenous people a chance to learn about their ways of life.