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Week Two - HUM130 - Discussion Question - One

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Week Two: Discussion Question One
Humanities 130

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Australian aboriginal cultures are quite possibly the oldest living cultural history
in the world; they can be traced back almost 50,000 to 65,000 years. According to Tom
Dystra, the reason Australian aboriginal cultures have survived for such a long period is
the result of their appreciation and preservation of land. He said, “We cultivated our
land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavored to live with the land;
they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to destroy” (Australian
Government Culture Portal, 2008). As such, these cultures treasure everything and
eliminate nothing because eliminating something essentially entails eliminating their
“god”. Additionally, Australian aboriginal cultures feel that an ancestor spirit exists
within every living and non-living entity. After its creation, a portion of the ancestor
spirit goes into the rocks, sand, water, trees, etc. (Australian Government Culture Portal,
2008).
Technology has only moderately altered their way of life. This change is
primarily seen through the actions of the tourism culture which basically invades their
standard of living (Australian Government Culture Portal, 2008). The Australian
aboriginal cultures permit this invasion only to assist in supporting or facilitating with
their survival in the fiscally-based world which surrounds them. Most recently, they have
made a presence in the council of the United Nations; this certainly demonstrates a
modification within their everyday lifestyles and viewpoints.
A large amount of Native Americans do not believe in religion in the same way
as traditional Christians do, such as believing in one God or attending church. Instead, a
large amount of Native Americans believe that a great spirit exists within them. Just like
the Australian aborigines, many Native Americans also live within their surroundings,

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while their beliefs and practices form an essential and seamless component of their very
existence (Religious Tolerance Website, 2009). They live modern lives, but cling to their
ancient belief systems.
Estimates of the amount of Native North Americans at the time of the European
arrival/invasion in what is now the referred to as United States and Canada fluctuate
between 1.2 all the way to 12 million (Religious Tolerance Website, 2009). Additionally,
by the end of the 19th century, the amount of Native Americans had been reduced to
250,000, primarily through “imported diseases, dislocation, slavery, mass murder and
genocide” (Religious Tolerance Website, 2009). A large amount of the survivors
eventually converted to Christianity. Interestingly, there has been resurgence within the
aboriginal faith (Religious Tolerance Website, 2009). This resurgence of the aboriginal
faith can be witnessed today within many varying environments.
For both groups, it is extremely interesting and even encouraging that even
though they have endured countless murders and tragedies, both groups remain resilient
and adhere to their original belief systems. Their faith has remained strong throughout all
of these years. Even though they participate in some modern practices, they still maintain
the foundational principles that have been passed down from previous generations.

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Anonymous
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