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Difference Between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal vs Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are two indigenous groups in Australia. The groups are distinguished by their place of origins. Aboriginal Australians are from the mainland while the Torres Strait Islanders are from the Torres Strait Islands. These two groups make up less than 3 percent of the total Australian population.

Who are the Aboriginals?

Aboriginal Australians are indigenous people living in mainland Australia and Tasmania. They originally came from somewhere in Asia and settled in Australia over 40,000 years ago, which makes them the first inhabitants before the Europeans. There are over four hundred Aboriginal groups, which includes Koori, Murri, Yapa, Yolngu, Yamatji, Wangkai, Anangu, and Palawah who spread out across Australia. Aboriginal people are nomadic and thrive mostly through hunting and food gathering.

Who are the Torres Strait islanders?

Torres Strait islanders are indigenous people who originated from Torres Strait Islands, a group of small islands between Queensland and Papua New Guinea. They descended from Melanesian and Papua New Guinea people, who also have influenced their culture. They engage in seafaring and trade with the neighboring islands, and though they also thrive on hunting, food-gathering and traditionally they are also excellent in agriculture.

Difference Between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Perhaps the most distinctive mark of their cultures is their belief in the power of earth, elements, and the spirits of nature. They believe in Dreamtime however it’s distinct with each other. Most of the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories feature the Rainbow Serpent, who is the creator and protector of the land while most Torres Strait Islanders Dreamtime stories feature the Tagai, or warrior, and their stories are focused on the stars and sky. Also, the languages of Aborigines and Torres Straight Islander are different, with the Pama-Nyungan languages spoken by a majority of Aborigines while the Torres Straight Islander speaks Kala Lagaw Ya and Meriam Mir.

These two indigenous groups have managed to preserve their rich culture through time and even now their culture and beliefs have been preserved and still celebrated.

In brief:

• Aboriginal Australians are indigenous to mainland Australia and Tasmania who are nomadic.

• Torres Strait Islanders are minority groups indigenous to Torres Strait Islands who are traders, seafarers and agriculturists.

• Both believe in the Dreamtime, the time when the ancestral being came to earth and created other things

• Both are original settlers of Australia


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