Terra Nullius was bullshit.
Check this awesome interactive map of Indigenous languages
So much important, ‘spesh the interactive map.
Reblogging this again because its always important
Terra Nullius was the justification for the genocide perpetrated against indigenous Australians.
It was also never ever true
Too important not to reblog.
Worth noting (if only because it’s COOL) that there are like eight bazillion different spellings of a lot of these language names. Like it took me forever to find Bunuba because on the map it’s Punuba. Both are entirely correct, it’s just demonstrates the huge difference in approaching that particular sound.
Because a lot of sounds from various languages don’t have English counterparts. It presents something of a problem even to say “bp” if you’re English. There’s a similar problem with “tj” as in Walmatjarri.
Also, fun facts, it’s not beyond reason to guess that there are people in central Australia who have still had no more interaction with Europeans than the coastal groups would have had in the late 1800s. i.e. “What the heck is that, is it a spirit, what the fuck language are they speaking?” Obviously it’s unlikely considering how well explored Australia has been since the whole mining boom thing, but it’s not beyond reason.
And we can say for certain that there are still people living in, for example, the Kimberley who never saw white fellas until after the whole stolen generation thing, so about the 70s ish. It’s a remarkable piece of good fortune that they escaped that, both for them and for those trying to preserve the culture.
Oh, and for non-Australians (since I think most Australians know this), there are no speakers of native Tasmanian languages left alive today. As in, the languages and the most part of the various cultures have been completely eradicated. There are bits and pieces remaining, but nothing like you’d find in Arnhem land or the Kimberley.
This map is also why I get really annoyed whenever anyone refers to ‘Aboriginal Culture’ (referring to the whole of Australia).
It’s cultures, dammit! Cultures.
This is amazing. I knew there were lots of cultures in Australia but wow. The amount of variation trumps Native Americans by far…. but I guess that makes sense if you have 40,000 years of cultural evolution (in one country) before whiteys took over.
I am always reminded of this map when people speak as if there is a single, unifying Aboriginal or Indigenous ‘culture.’ The truth is so much more complex and incredible than that. It boggles the mind to think of the complexity of this map and how these each interact/ed with one another!