Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Individual

The individual person in Aboriginal society tends to follow the rules, marrying a person from the group he or she is supposed to choose a husband or wife from, but there are instances where these rules were not followed. In most cases, the couple need not worry about trouble from the rest of their groups, as long as they were not incestuous, which in Aboriginal society extended to tribal family members as opposed to actual family members. There was a strong taboo concerning interaction between a man and his mother-in-law, as well as all her tribal sisters. With the exception of times of ceremonial licence they were not permitted to speak to each other, or even approach each other. Strict though this prohibition was, it has been known to be circumvented.

Just like other societies around the world, not all people take part in sacred ceremonies, some take a strong interest in the whole ceremony, singing, dancing, rituals, and try to learn as much as they can about the beliefs and rituals. Others just like the singing and dancing, taking as little part in other aspects of the ceremonies as they can get away with.

In some tribes, men could have as many wives as they wanted, some took full advantage of this situation, while others preferred only 1 wife. So as with every other culture in the world, people are not all the same.

Sources & Further reading

Berndt, R. M & C. H. , 1964, The World of the First Australians, Ure Smith Pty Ltd.

Author: M. H. Monroe
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