The Austronesian-speaking peoples vs. the Aboriginesby Rit Nosotro
Why are the Austronesian-speakers and the Aborigines different?
How and why were Austronesian-speakers and the Aborigines different? And which one was the worse off for it? Well, take a look at which culture was settled farther away from the Tower of Babel; the Aborigines of Australia. They were much more tribal than their Polynesian counterparts, the Austronesian-speakers. Romans 1:23-25 (KJV) tells us that “(they) changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” While this verse describes both parties, it is more so pointed at the Aborigines. But where did they come from? And how did they come to stray from the One Truth more than the Austronesian-speakers?
The peoples of the world had created the paganistic Tower of Babel, which was so high it seemed to touch the heavens. These people lived in it, spoke one universal language, and defied the God who had created them. They thought that since they were capable of doing so much and reaching “heaven” itself, they were at the level, if not beyond, with God. But, In c. 2200 B.C., the Tower of Babel reached the end of it’s career when God confused their language into many diverse tongues that no one else could understand. God also banished them from the tower, commanding them to spread across the globe and populate it. From this splitting of ways came three races: Hamite, Shemite (also known as Semites), and Japhethian. The Austronesian-speakers and Aborigines both came from Asia, consequently meaning they are of Hamitic descent. The Austronesian-speakers were believed to have arrived in the Polynesian Islands c. 1000 B.C., and Aborigines have been in Australia since around the same time. The difference? One (the Austronesian-speakers) settled nearer to Babel while the Aborigines migrated farther, all the way to another continent. How has this affected their respective cultures? Take a look at their beliefs and lifestyles.
The Austronesian-speakers were hunter-gatherers. They were excellent seamen, believed in a matriarchal government, and cultivated root crops as well as animal herds. They were traders, and would create trade routes between islands that were relatively close. Their system of government was divided between men and women, but women carried most of the responsibilities. For instance, a woman decided which man would fulfill the rank of High Chief, and if he were unavailable, another woman would take his place until he was able, or until another male replacement could be found. The Austronesian-speakers were also impressive seafarers. In boats made from natural materials, they crossed the ocean from Asia to the Islands, and settled the terrain. The Islands they inhabited were the Solomon’s, the Polynesian’s, the Kiribati’s, New Guinea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Micronesia, among others. They were closer to the mainland of Asia than Australia was, and consequently closer to the reminder of God’s power, the Tower of Babel fiasco. However, they denied God’s true identity, and as a result, they worshiped pagan gods.
The aborigines, however, were a different story. Completely lacking in class distinction or leaders, they believed that humans had come out of the earth, and fulfilled roles by becoming animals, water and rock formations, the sky, and other inhuman items. This was referred to as the “Dream time,” and when an aborigine discovered his purposes for life, this was called the “Dreaming.” They were also nomadic foragers that were talented at conserving resources. As one aborigine put it, they lived “with” the land, not “off” the land, which is the dream of environmentalists everywhere. The aborigines lived from a diet of plants, animals and fish. They were also traders who would exchange food for items, a favorite being small shells. They developed many instruments indigenous to their tribe, such as the musical didgeridoo and the boomerang.
And so, we see that the Austronesian-speakers and Aborigines were different in several ways: the Austronesian-speakers were islanders that worshipped pagan gods and had a developed matriarchal government. The Aborigines lived on a mainland, worshipped the earth, and had no developed system of government. Their common attributes were their methods of gathering food, trading, place of decent, and method for arriving at their land. God provided them with all they needed: the land to cultivate, and the intelligence with which to cultivate it, yet they never acknowledged Him or gave thanks. This is an example of God’s amazing love and mercy on His people, even when they choose to ignore, and often reject, Him.
Multiple Choice Questions:
1. Where did the Aborigines and Austronesian-speakers come from originally?
b. South America
2. What did the Austronesian-speakers worship?
a. the earth
c. pagan gods
3. What did the Aborigines worship?
b. the earth
d. pagan gods
4. What must the Asian immigrants have had in order to make it to their respective
“History of Solomon Islands” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Prehistoric Taiwan” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Aboriginal Australia History” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Australian Aboriginal Culture” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Australian Aborigines” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Timeline” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Bilung’s statement” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Kiribati” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Network Indonesia” World History. 18 Oct 2003
“Taiwan Aborigines” World History. 18 Oct 2003
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