The Traditional Culture of Aboriginal Australians basically refers to the way of life of the Aboriginal people. Until Europeans began to settle in Australia in 1788, the Aboriginal way of life was supported by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Like other hunting and gathering peoples, Aboriginal people had an extremely detailed knowledge of their environment, especially plant ecology and animal behavior. The deep connection between Aboriginal people and the natural world influenced every part of their culture, including their food gathering, tools, trade, religion, art, music, language, and social organization.
Knowledge of Aboriginal ways of life before European contact comes primarily from observations made after European arrival. Although traditional practices observed during the post-contact period were probably similar to those of many thousands of years ago, it is also clear that climate, environment, fauna, material culture, and social and cultural practices changed during the intervening period. This section primarily describes how Aboriginal people were living in the early 18th century, in the period just prior to European settlement of Australia. Many of these descriptions are based on anthropologists’ studies of Aboriginal people whose traditional ways survived intact into the 20th century and who had little if any regular contact with Europeans. These included Aboriginal groups in parts of the central desert, Arnhem Land (in the Northern Territory), the northern Kimberley region (in Western Australia), and the western Cape York Peninsula (in Queensland). Most people are of the opposition that the Traditional Culture of Aboriginal Australians was primitive to some extent although others may differ in terms of opinion.