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Indigenous Peoples of Australia and New Zealand (redirected from Indigneous Peoples of Australia and New Zealand)

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Location of Australia (Orange) and New Zealand (Green) on a World Map


Page Topics/Sections:


Australian Aboriginal Peoples


Torres Strait Islander Peoples


Stolen Generation


Aboriginal Dance




New Zealand and the Maori Peoples


Modern Racism in Australia


Modern Racism in New Zealand



 CROSS-LINK: Zealandi, A New Discovered, Mostly Underwater Continent






Australian Aboriginal Peoples


An introduction to who the Aboriginal Peoples are: Aboriginal Peoples


A Brief Aboriginal History


Additional Facts: 

  • The Aborigines migrated from Africa and Southeast Asia to Australia approximately 65,000 to 80,000 years ago.


  • During this time there were areas of low sea levels, but watercraft must have been used for some passages.


  • Aboriginal people covered the entire continent of Australia and spoke over 200 languages. Languages were often associated with different territories. Most people were multilingual.


  • Language groups were often called tribes by European settlers, but they were not political or economic entities.


  • Aboriginal people were hunter-gatherers who grew no crops and did not domesticate any animals, other than the dingo. 


  • Invented the boomerang which was used for hunting. 


  • Their belief system was based off of "the Dreaming" which was a complex and comprehensive concept that explains the past, the present, and the future along with every aspect of life. 


  • It includes the creative era at the dawn of time, when mythic beings shaped the land and populated it with flora, fauna, and human beings and left behind the rules for social life.


  • There was a regular performance of rituals to ensure a continued flow of life-giving power.


  • Aboriginal society exhibited both hierarchal and egalitarian tendencies.


  • There were no chiefs or centralized institutions of control. They were classless, except of for the subordinate status of women. Social mobility for males. 


  • Age and sex were the main criteria in differentiating status and roles. Women were frequently excluded from sacred ritual activities.


  • Starting from the beginning of British settlement in Australia in 1788 the Aborigines have faced extreme persecution. Many of their land was taken from them and their sacred sites destroyed. Europeans viewed them as parasites upon nature.


  • Large numbers of Aboriginal people were killed which drove them into the bush and made surviving much harder. Afterward Europeans put them on reservations.


  • Diseases were even more deadly the Europeans themselves and ravaged the population. 


  • Often times mixed Aboriginal children were taken from their families and raised as laborers. These children are called the "Stolen Generation". 






Click on the map above to view an interactive map of Indigenous Australia and its language groups.


Torres Strait Islander People


Torres Strait Islander Peoples 


Profile of First Nations People


Stolen Generation


Click here to watch a video and know more about the "Stolen Generation".


Click here to read more about the Aboriginal peoples and they way they have been perceived in history. 


Aboriginal Dance

(Art History) 


Click here to watch a traditional Aboriginal dance.





Click here for information and activities related to boomerangs.




A Meeting of the Cultures


Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement



New Zealand and the Maori Peoples


Image of the Maori Explorer, Kupe Raiatea from statute in Wellington, New Zealand

  • The Maori traditional history and archeological finds have indicated that the Maori first arrived in New Zealand during the 14th century in waves of migration from 'Hawiki' which is recognized as modern-day Tahiti


  • Their social organization is in the form of tribes (iwi) where they acknowledge a common ancestry and an allegiance to a chief (ariki). 


  • The most important social groups within a tribe is the hapuu, which are the landowners and the whaanau, which was the extended family.


  • Women and men were seen as relatively equal in Maori society. When a woman married she kept her own name, she was not seen as a possession, and her family's land still belonged to her and not her husband. Their children could chose to identify with the kinship of either or both of their parents. Divorce was legal in cases of domestic violence and was not stigmatized. Strong female characters can be seen in traditional Maori religion and emphasized the important role of women in society. 


  • Traditionally the Maori people were polytheistic and recognized a pantheon of gods and spiritual influences. However, starting from the 1820s to the 1840s they adopted Christianity and made it their own.


  • Te Hāhi Mihinare, the Anglican Church, attracted the largest following and remains the largest Maori denomination. The faith was often practiced in distinctively Maori ways.


  • Abel Tasman was the first European explorer to reach New Zealand and make contact with the Maori in December of 1642. He battled with the Maori and left the island largely unexplored.


  • Afterward Europeans seeking a profit were welcomed by the Maori, but with the introduction of disease, muskets and western agricultural methods, their culture began to disintegrate.


  • The British assumed formal control of England in 1840 and had a series of wars with the Maori over the land that ended in 1872.


  • This led to the rise of the "King-Movement" where multiple Maori tribes elected king Te Wherowhero as Potatau I. He purpose was to protect the land from European invasion.  He implemented a council of state, judiciary system and a police force to help with this issue.


  • To this day the Maori people have been trying to keep and regain their land inside the court system. They have recovered significant land settlements in the recent years from the government. Some have been worth 170-420 million dollars.


 Meeting the Maori People of New Zealand



Click here to explore the languages of indigenous Peoples of New Zealand and Australia on Google Earth.



Click here to listen to Maori songs. All lyrics are translated into English. 






Modern Racism in Australia


  • In Australia today, Aboriginal people still face racism and discrimination



  • According to the same source, 30% of Australians say they have witnessed discrimination or racism against Aboriginal individuals and communities


  • Legislation from the 1970's has resulted in systemic discrimination against Aboriginal communities, and today more than half of the Australian population believes "people from racial, ethnic, cultural and religious minority groups should behave more like mainstream Australians"

Source: Racial discrimination in Australia - Creative Spirits, retrieved from https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/people/racial-discrimination-in-australia


 Modern Racism in New Zealand



To read more about Potatau I click here.


To read more about women in Maori society from the University of Waikato click here.


To learn some basic language pronunciation in te reo, the language of the Maori click here.



Our People, Government of Australia



Maori Culture, Government of New Zealand



Maori, an overview of history and people



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