Aboriginal Culture


At contact there was no single, homogeneous Aboriginal society. Groups differed in aspects of their cultural and social organisation, and in the Northern Territory alone, over 100 different languages were spoken. These were separate languages, as unlike one another as French and Russian. Existence of widespread social networks meant that people had to be multilingual to communicate. The Arrernte group could speak up to 10 languages / dialects.


Likewise, music and dance, kinship systems, art forms and ceremonies differed dramatically between regions. Yet these differences were probably less important than the underlying similarities which brought groups together for ceremonies, for trade, to intermarry, and which allowed the maintenance of myths, and song lines and exhange cycles that extended over hundreds of kilometres. Even today regional variations remain ; there is no one Aboriginal society and people in different regions tend to emphasise their own distinctness and identity.


Aboriginal Ceremonies Songs & Dances
Traditional Ceremonial Rituals are cherished by all Australian Aboriginal people. They differ in content, style and reason – however, they have been and still are an inherent part of the culture of the Aborigine throughout the country, from the Top End, Kimberley, Central and Western Desert, Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Alice Springs, Utopia, to the far south of the Continent.Many associate the words “Aboriginal Ceremony” with deeply sensitive and serious themes, and indeed they are – Initiation Ceremonies, Dreaming Ceremonies, Bereavements.. However, Aborigines perform ceremonies for many different occasions – these incorporate song and dance events to celebrate Christmas, Holiday (“sit-down time”), important seasonal changes and social events.
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Kitja Artists of the Kimberley Region
Normally spelt Kija or Gidja, we believe the correct spelling is Kitja. The letter ‘K’ in Aboriginal language is pronounced ‘G’ and ‘T’ is pronounced ‘G’ – i.e. “Kartiya” pronounced “Gudia” = whiteman.
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Aboriginal Dancing
Traditional dancing is part of the core structure of Aboriginal Tradition. Sometimes called Joonba ( heritage corroboree), Wangka (Festive Corroboree), Munga Munga (women’s corroboree), dancing has from time immemorial to the present day been used by all Australian Aboriginal tribes both for ritual purposes and to express and represent many many facets of their lives and beliefs.
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