|The Aborigines in Australia
| They lived a
nomadic life closest to nature, with least amount of material possessions among the desert
peoples. They were hunter-gatherers. They formed into small and spread-out food-gathering
groups and shared the animals and plants they found.
| Out in the
bush, large Aborigine groups came together for gatherings called corroborees, but the base
camps rarely last longer than a few weeks. When they move to other places, the men would
carry the hunting weapons, spears, throwing sticks and boomerangs. The women would carry a
few stone and bone tools and digging sticks which can be used as weapons.
| They had their
own art, music, social functions like corroborees and some religious time. There is a
musicianstoryteller in each tribe. The stories would be passes orally. Almost all
Aborigines were naked. At night, they would gather around a campfire to keep them warm.
|The American Indians
| It is believed
that during the last ice age, Alaska in North America was linked to Siberia by a
land-bridge across the Bering Strait and that North America was first invaded by Mongol
peoples. Facial, language and cultural similarities show that there are some kind of
relationships between the American Indians and Mongol peoples.
| Herds of
buffalo, deer and antelope on the prairie lands provide major food source for the Indians.
There were small groups wandered from place to place in search of plants and seeds.
Apparatus for grinding plant seeds into flour had been developed in the earliest-known
tribes. Plant and animal fibres were used to make tools like baskets, mats, clothing and
sandals. They had pointed digging sticks, spearheads and stone axes.
| In the
hot desert area of the Great Basin (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Colorado and
Mexico), the Indians preferred more stable and permanent farming.
| To cope with
the difficult physical conditions, the Hopi from the high, dry Colorado plateau harnessed
flood-waters to form crude irrigation systems to grow cereals. They share resources, such
as labour and food with other families. The Hopi's society, sober , peaceful and
well-organized, was almost an utopian one. They were never aggressive, but always seeked a
self-sufficient life. There were forerunners of parliaments and committees.
| The Zuni people
had access to more predictable waterholes and river courses, hence had a more stable food
supply. Their life emphasized on ceremonials and dancing.
| The Pueblo
tribes are excellent desert architects. The houses were made of stone or adobe mud, with
think walls and small windows to maximize shade and insulation. They built houses
connected by network of ladders. There were water-storage cisterns and grain-storage
silos. The ladders could be drawn up to protect the occupants from attack.
|Peoples of the desert corridor of Asia
| The farmers
lived in villages of sun-dried mud-brick houses. Irrigation canals were built to water the
fast-growing cereals. The herding peoples live in portable tents, conducted their stock
horses, asses, camels, sheeps, goats and cattle) to places with ample pastures on the
tracks established centuries earlier. They traded their stock with the farmers and the
people in the neighbouring countries for cereal foods like flour.
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