For this assignment, I have decided to write about the Aborigines,
who are the indiginious people of Australia, in fact their name
means, "the people who were here from the begining." I am very
excited to share my knowledge about this, because I studied for a
semester in Australia, and concentrated on the nation's history. The
Australian Aboriginies were simple people who hunted and gathered,
and have been around for 40,000 years. The Europeans colonized the
land around 1788. Many of the aboriginal people has assimiliated
completly into the western culture and are living "western lives" in
big cities, but I am going to concentrate on those still living on
Before being assimiliate into "Western culture," their dress was
very minimal. Men and woman were usually topless, but had belts made
of hair, animal skin, grass, which they used to hold their weapons.
Many were also in loin cloths or what can be described as cloth
underwear, in colors of red, brown and white. They took pride on
being one with the land, and not needing to be modest. The traditinal
ceremony costumes for Aboriginies were much more elaborate. They
would paint their bodies all sorts of colors from brown and white, to
reds and yellows, and would wear ornaments of bone, and shells.
Once the Europeans invaded, they made the Aboriginies cover up, and
often supplied them with "hand me down" clothes, or what we would
refer to as thrift store clothing. The whole way of life for the
Aboriginals changed, but at the same time, they lost possession of
their land, so they had little money. Today, you can see the
Aboriginals that still live on the land, in consigment clothing.
There are still traditional styles continuing on the for
preservation of the culture. There are many tribes that have
Dreamtime ceremonies (part of their religion) and dress the part.
Also, the Australian government is making sure this culture is not
forgotten, for instance, by having them be a large part of the 2000
The pressures of the Eurpoeans definitly facilitated change. Many
aboriginies turned to drugs and alcohol after the Europeans took
their land, and made them work on it. They were poor which didn't
matter bofore, but now they had ot follow the dress of the western
world. In a way, the Aboriginal people couldn't really stop the
change, and are now trying to preserve the past.
Here are some links for traditional and modern Aboriginal dress: