NAIDOC is a time when we make a special effort to learn about Aboriginal culture. We had some guest speakers who led us in activities and we learned a lot and had TONS of fun too!
We began the day with a smoking ceremony. Our visitors made a fire in the undercover area and added fresh gum leaves and Balga (grass tree), which made it very smoky. Smoking ceremonies are a traditional way to cleanse an area and the people in it. Mrs T, the leader of our guests, gave us a traditional Nyoongar welcome in the Nyoongar language, to tell us we're welcome on their land as friends. Here is what it sounded like:
After that, we broke up into class groups and did some activities. We learned about:
- Bush tucker - Before white people came to Australia, aboriginal people could only eat food that was here naturally, like berries, nuts, kangaroos, snakes and lizards.
- Bush medicine - There were no doctors or hospitals, so aborigines used plants for treating cuts and stomach aches and all sorts of other things.
- Aboriginal art - Instead of writing down stories about their history, aborigines would paint pictures on walls or rocks to teach their children about their culture.
- Aboriginal dance - Dancing was another way to tell stories. The dancers would often be painted with paints made from ground up rocks and the music they danced to was made by didgeridoos and clapping sticks.