Aboriginal Cultures are recognised as the oldest living cultures in the world, having evolved and adapted to changing conditions from Ancient Times until the present
Archaeological/geological evidence from Lake Mungo proves that highly sophisticated culture(s) existed in Australia more than 40,000 thousand years ago
Lake Mungo is of national and international significance i.e. has World Heritage listing, (1981) because of its extraordinary natural and cultural history
The discoveries of the oldest human remains in Australia, at Lake Mungo raised issues that required sensitive consideration (e.g.handling of ancient human remains)
The Traditional Tribal Groups of the Lake Mungo area are the Paakantji/Barkindji, Nyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi and they have played a significant role in heritage management and in demonstrating these skills to other Aboriginal groups
The Elders of Lake Mungo have reconnected with their history and are now the ‘keepers of their stories’
Aboriginal Cultures are diverse and thus it is important not to make generalisations
Strong similarities that exist for all Aboriginal groups are the inter-connected spiritual and physical relationship they share with Country and the highly sophisticated forms of social organisation e.g. kinship, moieties
They also share a history of oppression and dispossession as the result of European colonisation
Aboriginal groups vary in the terminology they prefer e.g. some like to be described by their language group, others use terms including the following: “mob/clan/tribe”. It is important to check with local groups to identify preferred terminology
Understanding how these Ancient groups of traditional peoples lived and interacted with the environment provides us with ways to improve contemporary living.
The wisdom of Elders, when respected and valued, has made, and still is making, a valuable contribution to enhancing our contemporary shared life-styles.
Because traditional Aboriginal Cultures are orate in nature their names, when recorded,are often spelt in a variety of ways
The spiritual belief systems of First Australians and settlers reflect different World Views; both being valid in their contexts
Representation of burial site information on the Lake Mungo CD has been under taken after long discussions with community representatives of the Traditional Tribal Groups of Lake Mungo. Presenting this material to students requires sensitivity and dignity in keeping with the sacred nature of the images.
Please note: the Mungo Explorer package contains images of some deceased people