The Aborigines of Australia near New South Wales were among the first that the crew of the Endeavor encountered. The ship, captained by James Cook, sailed into Botany Bay in April or May of 1770. The aboriginal name for the place was "Ka-may."
The Australian aboriginals here lived on the efforts of their hunting and gathering. The Guugu Yimidharr lived here, and they were part of the Gameygal people, and spoke a dialect called Darug. Captain Cook wrote of them in his journal
"They may appear to some to be the most wretched people on Earth, but in reality they are far happier than we Europeans. They live in tranquility which is not disturbed by the inequality of condition. The Earth and Sea of their own accord furnish them with all things necessary for life."
The aborigines of Australia ate shellfish, fish, plants, and animals including kangaroos, wallabies and opossum.
Aboriginal health was maintained through a diverse diet that included native meats and plants, as well as a variety of seafood. Seals, whales, lobster, crab, and turtles would all have been on the menu. It is evident that they had a large variety of native foods to choose from. The rich and varied diet would be welcome to us in the modern day world, full of fast food, processed foods, and once nutrient rich meals that have been stripped of their value. Even today, groups like Weston Price would advocate adding this sort of variety into your daily regimen.
The crew of the Endeavor noted that the aborigines of Australia were adept at throwing their spears 40 and 50 feet with good accuracy. The Australian aboriginals are also credited with showing the Crew how to use the tea tree leaves to make tea, and to use the tree as a medicinal plant. It is the sort of thing that ethno-botanists thrive on, and which we could use today.
It is unfortunate for the Western world that they created a situation that made learning the skills and knowledge of the early tribesmen so difficult. The friendship between the Endeavor crew and the Guugu Yimidharr was short lived, and was ended by musket fire, after a misunderstanding of aborigine culture.
Today, the aborigines of Australia play a vital part in the history
and art of Australia, as well as at least one tribe still involved in
the use and production of tea tree oil. The aboriginal art produced
today is valued the world over, and it is as unique a style and creative
as that of any other great art in the world.
The YARRABAH TEA TREE PLANTATION is run by the tribe of the same name, and is situated outside of Yarrabah at a place called Balamba. It has been in operation since 1944 and is under the direction of the Yarrabah Community Council.The Yarrabah are aborigines.