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9 Aboriginal Facts You Never Knew

How much do you know about Aboriginal people and their culture and history? We've put together these cool facts all about the Aboriginal people and their way of life!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:ย  April 1st 2022

The Aboriginal people have been living in Australia for thousands of years, and have an incredible culture. We've put together 9 amazing facts all about Aboriginal history, tradition and beliefs. And if you liked that, why not check out these fun Middle Ages Facts for more history? Or how about these Koala Facts for more Australian fun? We've even got some Happy Facts if you need something sunny!

1. There Are About 800,000 Aboriginal People Today

Today in Australia, Aboriginal people number around 800,000, and they live all over Australia. There are roughly 500 different Aboriginal groups in Australia, and each has their own culture and language.

2. They Came to Australia About 50,000 Years Ago

Aboriginal people have been living in Australia for at least 50,000 years, longer than anyone else. They originally travelled over from the Asian continent in boats, and are one of the oldest human populations in the world!

3. They Believe in the 'Dreamtime'

Dreamtime is the name for the Aboriginal belief system, which is also thousands of years old. Dreamtime tells the story of the worlds creation, as well as other myths and stories. Aboriginals believe that everything was created by their ancestors, and that spirits continue to live in rocks, animals and other parts of nature.

4. The Boomerang is a Hunting Tool

That's right! It was developed as a hunting tool thousands of years ago. It also has many other uses, including as a weapon, for digging, and in ceremonies. Carved and decorated boomerangs are highly prized, and today boomerang making is a huge industry.

5. Their Art is Often Based on Dreamtime Stories

Aboriginal art is unique way of painting and decorating objects, canvases and walls. Like much of Aboriginal culture, it dates back thousands of years. Aboriginal art also includes sculpture, clothing and sand painting.

6. They Face Discrimination in Modern Australia

Since Europeans colonised Australia in the 18th century, the Aboriginal people have faced hardship and discrimination, as their land and rights were taken away. This is something they still struggle with today, and Aboriginal people continue to fight for the respect their culture is owed.

7. They Are One of Two Indigenous Groups in Australia

The other group is the Torres Strait Islanders, who traditionally live in the hundreds of small Torres Strait Islands, on the north coast of Australia. There are much fewer Torres Strait Islanders, only about 5,000. This is their flag, which depicts a traditional headdress.

8. They Have Many Sacred Sites Around Australia

The Aboriginal people consider the land sacred, and have many landmarks all over Australia which are spiritually significant. Probably the most famous of these is Uluru, once known as Ayres Rock, sacred to the Anangu people and known all over the world.

9. Lots of English Words Come From Aboriginal

Lots of modern Australian words, especially for animals and nature, have their roots in Aboriginal languages, included koala, wallaby, kangaroo, yabber, wonga and kookaburra!