More than 500 known tribus
Between 250-750 distinct known languages.
Less than 10 are still spoken by more than a thousand speakers today.
The Aboriginals are the first known humans having occupied the Australian continental territory.
The Aboriginals, together with the indiginous people of Torres Strait (strait which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea), the native people of this Oceanian state.
The commonly used term of "Aboriginals" refers more generally to those whose ancestors were the first inhabitants of his native land.
A theory explains that the Aboriginals would have come from the Indonesian archipelago by small boats via the North of Timor some 40.000 years ago.
Another theory states that they would have come via a passage between New Guinea and Australia. It might also be possible that humans have arrived in waves at different moments or in the same time but at different geographical sites of the continent.
The genetic isolation of the so-called "Aboriginal" people is about 50.000 years old.
In 1788, Australie was inhabited by 250 distinct tribes who occupied the whole continent; each one with his own language, laws and tribal frontiers.
The Aboriginal culture is the oldest surviving culture on earth.
BELIEFS AND SYMBOLIC - "The Dreamtime"
"The Dreamtime" is the term of the animist framework and symbol system of Australian Aboriginal mythology that explains the origins of their world, Australia itself and its inhabitants.
Following their tradition, giant creatures, like the "Rainbow Serpent", came out of the earth, the sea or the sky and created life and the Australian landscapes.
Their giant bodies created rivers and mountain chains, but their spirits remained within the earth. For this reason, the earth is sacred through the eyes of the indigenous people.
The Aboriginals are remarkable painters. They paint on barks in the Northern territories, on fabrics in the desert areas of Central Australia.
The drawings and figures they paint all have very particular meanings which are all related to their mythology of "The Dreamtime" and can be assimilated to a form of writing.
Except the cave paintings, most of the Aboriginal artwork was ephemeral: body paintings, sand drawings, vegetable paintings on the ground...
Sources: Wikipedia / Site http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/culture/symbols.php