Indigenous People | Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

There are so many different cultures, peoples and traditions in the world. Learn about the world in a new way with these amazing people!

 

Many of the cultures and traditions below are still practiced but sadly many are being lost. This is due to modern culture and broad access to education, healthcare and urban life.

Scroll down or click  below to learn facts for kids and adventurers just like you...

ABORIGINALS

Australia

Religion and culture

Aboriginal beliefs and culture revolve around the Dreamtime. They believe that spirits, sometimes in the form of animals, are the creators of the world and it's important sites. In many communities the snake, or Rainbow Serpent, is highly significant as the creator of the world. Turning it from a flat plain to the vibrant place we live in today.

Food and drink

As a nomadic people their diet is foraged and often changes from day to day. You may have heard of the term 'bush tucker' which represents food collected and eaten from the wild. 

Food such as berries, plants, insects etc are foraged as well as hunted fish and animals such as Bandicoots, Kangaroos and even Koalas! Some of which are caught by using a special hunting boomerang, cleverly designed to return to it's owner if it doesn't hit anything.

DID YOU KNOW?

The traditional aboriginal instrument, the Didgeridoo is over 1,500 years old! 

It's relaxing drone is an important part of culture and celebration. Different noises represent certain Australian animals.

 

 Location 

Aboriginals live throughout Australia. Clans often lived on areas of land that they managed and took care of. Sadly in more modern times this land has been mostly lost with the exception of areas such as Arnhem Land and Uluru where communities still retain their traditional ownership.

How they live

There are no chiefs or leaders within the Aboriginal culture. Respect is given to elders and those that possess a high skill level such as a great hunter or crafts person.

Being a nomadic people their homes or shelters are often temporary. They can be made from anything  from branches and bark to more solid structures such as a cave. Australia is a warm climate so most of the time clans would sleep outside next to camp fires.

 

INUIT

Arctic Regions

DID YOU KNOW?

Igloo's can be a toasty 15C inside when it's a freezing -45C outside!

Once inside the people that gather in them generate enough heat to act as a small furnace which melts and fuses the ice blocks together to make it even stronger.

 Location 

The Inuit culture spreads far across the Arctic regions all the way from Alaska to Greenland. In the early 1990's the Inuit people were granted a self-governing land called Nunavut in North West Canada. They now own much of the Canadian Arctic.

How they live

In the past temporary shelters were built as they were semi-nomadic people. These were often made using driftwood but later developed to be made from blocks of snow and ice, which are called igloo's. These were more practical and could be built in a matter of hours.

In more modern times the majority of communities live in purpose built and permanent homes.

Religion and culture

The Inuit culture centres around an Animist belief. This means they believe in the sacred nature of animals and when people die they are represented as spirits.

 

Only Shaman have the ability to communicate with these sprits which becomes an important part of traditions and celebrations.

Food and drink

The snowy, icy tundras of the Arctic are not ideal conditions for plants to grow so Inuit diet is nearly entirely made up of meat.

Hunting is a big tradition and practice with animals such as Caribou (deer), Seals and even Whales being killed and eaten. Inuit nomadic life was usually centred around hunting Whales as it could be be stored and feed communities for many many months. 

BAMILEKE

Cameroon

 Location 

Bamileke is the collective name for indigenous Kingdoms that lived in the North Western regions of Cameroon. 

How they live

Living in permanent settlements they have an agricultural way of life.  It is the man's role to build and repair the homes whilst the women tend and cultivate the crop.

They live in communities that are governed by a single King, or Fon, as part of a Kingdom. The King is not voted in but is given the title hereditary i.e. passed down through his family.

Religion and culture

Many of the Bamileke people now practice Christianity although much of their traditional beliefs are still part of their culture.

They strongly believe in ancestral worship which means paying respect to those that have died through celebration and sacrifice.

Food and drink

Due to their agricultural way of life their staple food is corn and groundnuts. These are grown within their settlements. Meat is very rarely eaten.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Bamileke are famed for their Elephant masks worn during ceremonial dances.

The King, or Fon, adorns himself with a head dress, decorated with thousands of tiny coloured beads. Each colour representing something significant to the tribe.

 

THE PAPUAN

Papua New Guinea

 Location 

Over 90% of Papua New Guinea is given over to small communities to self-manage, with a third of the population living in the remote Highlands.

 

It's important to note The Papuan people are split into hundreds of different tribes and communities each with their own unique customs, cultures and traditions

How they live

The majority of tribes living in Highland communities separate duties out according to male and female. The men are in charge of building houses and hunting, with the male chiefs also taking on the role of trading with other tribes.

The women are farmers and look after and tend the crops and pig cattle. Both the men and women look after the children and is seen as a shared duty.

Religion and culture

The majority of Papuans are Christian however they also practice traditions and celebrations that relate to their indigenous beliefs.

 

These beliefs tend to be Animist, meaning they believe that animals and plants have souls and should therefore be respected. Tribes have no religious leaders and expect all people to acquire spiritual powers in their day to day life.

Food and drink

A highlight in the Papuan social calendar is a pig feast. Pigs are a high status symbol amongst tribes. The more pigs a tribe or person owns the higher their status. Pigs are only ever killed and eaten on special occasions, where feasting can go on for days!  

DID YOU KNOW?

Over 1,000 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea.

This is a third of the total original languages in the world... incredible for such a small nation!

 

THE SAN

Southern Africa

 Location 

Southern Africa from Angola, Namibia and Botswana to Lesotho and South Africa.

How they live

The San are traditionally a hunter gathering, semi-nomadic people. Living in the heat of the deserts ,such as the Kalahari in Botswana, they would move with the seasons in search of water and seasonal foods.

In the wet seasons they would settle at a waterhole for longer periods of time in order to gain a constant water supply.

Their language is spoken with the addition of clicks which when used change the meaning of certain words. They are written down like this /.

Religion and Culture

They believe in a single high God called /Kaggen and many lesser gods. These lesser gods can be spoken to by Shaman at different rituals by entering a trance.

A boy comes of age when he can kill his first Eland (antelope) and a girl's coming of age is signified by the Eland bull dance. The Eland is a very scared animal to the San.

Food and drink

The women predominantly forage for wild fruits and vegetables whilst the men are hunters and will shoot anything from Fish to Zebras using home-made bows and poisoned arrows.

In the wet seasons waterholes are the perfect place to gather fresh water. In drier times they can squeeze drinkable liquid from plant roots.

DID YOU KNOW?

The San are thought to be one of the oldest cultures and peoples in the world.

Their ancient rock paintings and carvings can be seen in Botswana dating to over 7,000 years old!

 

TUAREG

Saharan Regions

 Location 

Desert regions of Northern and Western Africa. Their culture spreads as far as North as Algeria and Libya and as far South West as Mali and Burkina Faso. 

How they live

Famed for their caravan trading they are a semi-nomadic people. They travel and trade everything from food to clothes to camels which they use as transport.

As desert dwelling peoples they traditionally live in red tents made from dyed animal skins. Goat skins are most popular.

Religion and culture

Most share an Islamic faith but many communities still include elements of their own traditions and rituals that have become intertwined over many years. 

Food and drink

Milk is very important for the Tuareg and they get it from milking their cattle, either goats or camels. Also mint tea is very popular.

To eat they take bread and dip into sauces made from vegetable gained in towns they pass through. Meat is not commonly eaten, usually only during special occasions.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tuareg men are sometimes called 'Blue Men'.

During special celebrations they wear a blue veil around their head which  dyes their skin blue, hence the nickname.

 

Religion and culture

Most share an Islamic faith but many communities still include elements of their own cosmology and rituals that have become intertwined over many years. 

Food and drink

Milk is very important for the Tuareg and they get it from milking their cattle, either goats or camels. Also mint tea is very popular.

To eat they take bread and dip into sauces made from vegetable gained in towns they pass through. Meat is not commonly eaten, usually only during special occasions.

Did you know?

Tuareg men are sometimes called 'Blue Men'.

During special celebrations they wear a blue veil around their head which  dyes their skin blue, hence the nickname.

MAASAI

East Africa

 Location 

The great savannah's of Kenya and Tanzania. The Maasai are semi-nomadic and move with the seasons to provide food and water for their cattle and themselves.

How they live

It is the women's job to build the families homes. These are usually made from mud, woven wood and cow dung.

The men must tend to the livestock and look after their families which includes building a thorn fence around the village to stop wild animals from entering. Especially Lions who will eat the cattle.

Religion and culture

The Maasai believe in one creator God, Ngai. He appears as two forms one is good and black whilst the other is evil and red. Some Maasai also practice Christianity.

Food and drink

Like many nomadic peoples the Maasai rely heavily on cattle for food and drink. This would consist of meat and milk. At some celebrations and rites of passage cattle's blood is drunk.

In some  tribes crop farming is frowned upon as it ruins the land for grazing cattle.

DID YOU KNOW?

Maasai warriors are excellent jumpers.

Their jumping dance, known as Adumu, is used by the men to attract a potential wife. The highest jumper is the most desirable.

 

THERE'S MORE...

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