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Indigenous groups

What information do you know about the Indigenous people that lived in your area? Perhaps you may like to do some research on your local Indigenous people. There were many different groups of Indigenous people around Australia. Before the arrival of the British settlers in 1788, there were about 600 separate Aboriginal groups living in Australia. There were also about 250 different Aboriginal languages.

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Each Aboriginal group lived on land that was special to them. Indigenous people have a spiritual link with their land and its environment. Families could not travel through another group's territory without first getting permission. It was the responsibility of each group to look after the land in their area and its sacred sites.

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Differences

Different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups had different languages, traditions, customs and ancestral beings. This meant that different groups lived quite separate lives. Some groups though, did have some similar beliefs. Many groups, for example, believed that the Rainbow Serpent created the sun, fire, water and all the animals.

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The Indigenous groups in your area are different from the Indigenous people in another State. Sometimes different Aboriginal groups came together to trade and share information and ideas. This usually happened when there was enough food and water for everyone. After the ceremonies, groups went back to their own territory.

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The Noongar people

If you live in the southwest corner of Western Australia, your local Aboriginal community is the Noongar people. Before European settlement, the Noongar people shared a common language and culture that was different to other Indigenous groups around Australia.

Traditional Noongar people hunted and trapped a variety of animals, including kangaroos, possums and wallabies. They also used spears and fish traps to catch fish. They gathered a range of edible wild plants including wattle seeds. The Noongar people used a type of rock called quartz spear and knife edges.

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