Sorry, wrong again.
After some initial clashes with our pioneering forefathers, it was in fact the young aborigines, male and female, who saw in the coming of civilisation a chance of freedom. It finally provided a means of avoiding the terror of the dreaded initiations and mutilations. This was why the tribal system just suddenly collapsed. The young people walked away en masse and got themselves jobs with the white men in any capacity they could. On the frontier they were needed, and the boys became exceptional stockman, fencers, teamsters, trackers and guides. The girls became exceptional stockwomen, maids and for some, the wives of lonely pioneering white men. Even today, aboriginal girls prefer to marry white men because of the traditional brutality exhibited by aboriginal men. Those dirty, racist Australians have the highest rate of black /white marriage in the world. Cathy Freeman's step father is a white man, and very proud of his full blood daughter. We all are. Cathy herself married a white man.
Interestingly, uninitiated aboriginal men living among whites proudly called themselves "clean skins" and contemptuously referred to initiated men as "whistlers".
I suppose this post is getting a little long, but since Repunzel thinks the best way to shut me up is to load me up, that was inevitable.
I would just like to take her slander that
Sorry to let reality intrude into your dream, Repunzel But according to Ion Idriess, who lived among the stone age aborigines in the Top End in the 1920's and 1930's, and who studied them, aboriginal culture was a little different from your dreamtime.
The fundamental basis of stone age aboriginal culture from Broome to Townsville, was the absolute power of the Old Men. It was a unique social system where everyone younger than them were their slaves. The younger men did all the hunting and gave the best cuts of meat to the Old Men. The women did all the gathering and all the other work. Each Old Man had a harem of around a dozen women and young girls. When an Old Man died, these women were inherited by the dead mans totemic brothers who shared the women around. Old women were simply killed off or rented out to the younger men for sexual purposes.
This system was enforced through a series of degrading and painful initiation ceremonies, the purpose of which was to terrorise the younger men and all the women into unquestioning obedience.
Every now and again, a corroboree would be held where all the tribes in the area would gather. All boys around nine years of age would be initiated as apprentice hunters in this ceremony. This involved the old men holding the boy down and knocking out a tooth. From that day forward, the boy could not talk to any female again, even his own mother and sisters. He made his camp with the older boys who began his instruction as an apprentice hunter.
At around 15 years of age, the boys were initiated in another corroboree, where they were circumcised with a sharp rock. (Ouch, that would bring tears to your eyes, wouldn't it Jaxxen?) Those that did not die of septicaemia then became full hunters. It was also stressed, that if any boy ran off with a girl, both would be tracked down and killed. The only way a young man could obtain a lubra, was to steal one from an enemy tribe. This was in fact quite a popular pastime for young aboriginal men, if a very unpleasant and painful one if he was caught.
But the worse was yet to come. In his mid 30's another corroboree was held where the men were initiated as "men". This involved holding the poor unfortunate down while a "V" notch was cut into the ****, just above the head, to open a second urinal pathway. What this meant was that those aboriginal "men" who did not die of urinary tract infection, could not stand and urinate. They had to squat like women.
There was one other aspect of the initiations. Idriess was invited to many of these events and watched them with other white men as invited guests. But at some point the white men were always told to leave. The implication that Idriess gave was that the boys or men were then forced to have homosexual sex with the Old Men. This was indirectly attested to, as "Caskur" has mentioned, by non other than the irreproachable Fred Hollows, who in a TV interview I saw told the media that if "certain practices" did not cease among aborigines, "in a hundred years time there will be no aborigines"
For the women it was different. Girls usually had the little finger of the right hand amputated (usually by the mother biting the finger off soon after birth). This was believed to make it easier for the females to dig for yams.
When a girl reached puberty, she was handed over to the Old Men, who inserted a fertility object into her ****. After that she was given to an Old man as a wife. After this was done, a ceremony would be held where the naked girl lay on the ground, legs asunder while her father drove a spear into the ground between her legs. (This is also confirmed by the book "Sociology" third edition, Tim Robertson, Worth Publishers) The father would declare to the assembled tribe, that all female children born of this girl would be given as wife to a selected man, who may already be in his thirties, forties, fifties or sixties.
Female aborigines were treated with great brutality by their Old Men husbands, a common practice being eye plucking with a sharp stick. This is still a favourite punishment today by aboriginal men on their women in remote communities. Idriess himself witnessed an Old Man bash in a girls head in and kill her who had not been fanning him hard enough. Governor Phillip himself intervened to stop Bennelong from bashing a young girl to death, a fact recounted in Lt. Watkins Tench's book which recounted what he saw when he came to Australia with the First Fleet.
There are a few other little details which blow down the Potemkin Village of Repunzels utopian vision. Aboriginees believed that if twins were born, the second twin was not human but was in fact a spirit. The second born twin was always killed at birth. Naturally, those disgusting white people who wanted to commit genocide on the aboriginal race put a stop to that. People responsible for overseeing the welfare of aboriginal people always took the second twin into care. Or, if Repunzel prefers, they stole them.
The other, was that aboriginal population densities may have been very low because of one particular custom of the aboriginal people. If a male died, even an Old Man, someone was responsible. People did not just die, someone had "sung" them to death. It was the duty of the tribes witchdoctor to figure out who the culprit was, and that person was then killed.
Cannibalism was not widespread in aboriginal cultures, most cannibalism was practiced as respect for the dead or to ward off magic. Sometimes, respected tribal members who had died had internal organs removed and eaten as a mark of respect. Some tribes (eg on Yam Island) had initiation ceremonies where small amounts of human flesh were consumed, but the practice of blood drinking had much wider popularity in initiation ceremonies. However, in "hard summers", the Kaura tribe near Adelaide would ritualistically kill their new born babies and eat them. The ritual involved striking the head of the baby against the shoulder of the babies brother or sister.
Well, that's enough, Repunzel gets the picture. I am so sorry to shatter your illusions. I also take issue with your statement on assimilation