Home » People & Society » Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.

Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.

Dreamtime voyagers: Aboriginal Australians in early modern Makassar

If there’s one thing that most people think they know about the early history of Australia, it’s that the continent remained suspended, in unchanging isolation, for countless thousands of years before the arrival of the convicts of the First Fleet early in 1788. Cut off from the rest of humanity ever since the end of the last Ice Age, the Aboriginal population lived on for generation after generation in a hazy, mythic stasis: a “Dreamtime” in which the passage of the years, and even the notion of history itself, had practically no meaning. Theirs was a pure, pristine existence; the first Australians were part of the land itself, rather than living off it and exploiting it. And when the British arrived and claimed the continent, they sullied… Continue Reading (29 minute read)

6 thoughts on “Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.”

  1. AdvancedAdvance

    I hope the first thing the Aboriginal said to the explorers was to please stop shouting “DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?!”

  2. FastWalkingShortGuy

    This is that one dude who finds out your company will be licensing new software, so he goes out and gets certified as a superuser on his own so he’ll be ahead of everyone else.

    They’ve existed since the dawn of time.

  3. Roving_Rhythmatist

    Guns Germs and Steel really blew my mind when it came to Indigenous Australians.

    I had always pictured them living solely in the most desolate areas of Australia, never realizing that they congregated in the best areas of Australia (obviously) and had a much more complex civilization, but were murdered and driven out of all the good spots when Australia was “discovered”

    They had 100 miles of canals carved into the land to farm eels.

    There was lots more in the book, but the eel farming took me by surprise.

    The genocide and land theft was more of a depressing SEP that my brain had never bothered to put together.

  4. jc-t95

    Oi, piss of mate!
    – What he should have said

  5. thinkinboutthembeanz

    This would be the coolest most Disney thing to ever happen, to visit some undiscovered land and the elder of the village comes out and is able to speak your language while everyone else can’t

    “Greetings traveler”

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