.. sad Chatwin didn't do a bit more research about what is the current practice in Aus before trying to be controversial .. in Aus, as in other parts of the world, there is a collective name for all original
inhabitants .. in our case it is Aborigine/Aboriginal
with a capital /A/ .. however it should be noted that ..
Usage: The Australian Government Style Manual (6th ed, 2002) encourages the use of Aboriginal as a noun to replace Aborigine. Indigenous is the preferred term to encompass both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Source: Macquarie Dictionary, 4th ed.
.. there are also Aboriginal words that cover a similar idea on a smaller geographical scale in that they refer to a grouping of Aboriginal people from a particular area .. in my area they are called Kooris
, which refers to Aboriginal people from southern NSW or Vic .. and then there are
Nungas, south-eastern South Australia,
Anangus, Central Australia
Murris, parts of Qld and NSW
Yolngus, north-eastern Arnhem Land
Nyungars, south-western Western Australia
Yamatjis, mid-western Western Australia
.. but the problem with this is the same that arises when you refer to a Welsh person or a Scottish person as being English
.. there are individual Land Councils in what are deemed to be traditional
tribal areas .. for example our local tribe/clan/nation
, use of which word depends upon who you are talking to, is the Awabakal/Awabagal .. a look at this map
gives some idea of the immensity of using a single tribal name in a particular area .. where the tribal group name is known it is used locally when referring to that group .. however when referring to the larger group the collective, accepted term Aboriginal/Indigenous
is used as in say, Aboriginal People of the Hunter Valley
.. this would encompass the Awabakal, Worimi, Wonarrua, Geawegal and Darkinjang peoples .. bear in mind that in some remote, desert areas of Aus a single tribal group may inhabit 40 000 sq km whilst around my neck of the woods with abundant access to coastline, lakes and rivers tribes had much much smaller tribal areas .. it was also my experience when working with Aboriginal people in Broken Hill that the local tribes did not totally agree on who supposedly "owned" which area ..
.. the use of Aboriginal
is also necessary in order to collectively name organisations or entities such as the Aboriginal Arts Committee
, responsible for all submissions on Aboriginal Arts to the Australia Council, Aboriginal English
, a number of variants of Australian English with their own characteristics, Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre
, dancing a fusion of classical and Western dance traditions combined with traditional dance from all over Australia and the Torres Strait Islands ..
.. Shelley I have tried to show that the word Aboriginal
is needed and is accepted throughout all levels of Australia and that there is also a very active recognition of regional and local variations encompassing the use of local tribal names and words ..
WoZ of Aus 17/01/08