Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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Get key foundational knowledge about Aboriginal culture in a fun and engaging way.

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FAQ about Aboriginal culture

What's the Aboriginal word/name for...?


There are 250 answers to this question. This is how many Aboriginal languages existed prior to European invasion. Only about 35 of them are not critically endangered today.

If you need an Aboriginal word for an English term, I suggest the following approach:

  1. Research which Aboriginal group lived in the area that you think is associated with your product, service or "thing".
  2. Find which Aboriginal languages were spoken in that area. Is there a language that's still spoken?
  3. Try to find an Aboriginal person speaking that language by contacting the Aboriginal Land Council in charge of that area.

Note that Aboriginal people might react dismissively if they don't see a genuine and respectful intention and use of their language.

How can I be a little bit like an Aboriginal person?


You might have read a novel, or learned something exciting about Aboriginal culture, and now you feel like you want to incorporate that into your life.

My advice is simple: Don't do that. In 99% of the cases it might offend Aboriginal people.

Some fans have coloured their skin and worn wigs to celebrate an Aboriginal sports star, a woman has played the didgeridoo, an American author has pretended to be one of them, and many tourists climbed Uluru— but they all ended up offending Aboriginal protocols and people. Aboriginal culture is complex and founded (among other things) on respect.

Take your enthusiasm and learn more about Aboriginal culture and then spread the word.

Are all Aboriginal sites sacred?


It is a common misconception that Aboriginal sites are all 'sacred sites'. While it is true that some places are considered sacred, such as ceremonial or initiation grounds, the great majority of Aboriginal places (campsites for example), relate to the pursuance of everyday activities.

How can I help Aboriginal people or communities?


Please avoid telling Aboriginal people what's best for them. This has happened too many times already. "People are carrying a lot of pain," an Aboriginal leader explained to a friend of mine, "they've got to let some of it out before you can get down to brass tacks [basic facts]."

Instead, check out this list of things you can do to learn, support and spread the word.

I've also compiled a lot of information if you like to work as a volunteer.

Am I Aboriginal?


"I've been told I have Aboriginal background..."—What do you do if you face this life-changing question?

I've collected some options in the section How do I prove I am Aboriginal?

FAQ about Resources

Can I order books, music or films from you?


No. My resources section only lists Aboriginal music, films and books. I don't stock or sell them, but offer links to resellers where I know they stock them.

If a resource is not available commercially try following the links to libraries.

Where can I get a specific movie?


Check my list of distributors which lists also alternative ways of getting films.

FAQ about information products

Why is there no GST on your invoice?


Creative Spirits is not registered to charge GST. Hence I issue regular invoices (as opposed to tax invoices) which do not show GST. More information

FAQ about this website

What are your sources? Do you have any references?


I try to include as many references as I can when writing my articles. Each reference is a linked number in square brackets, e.g. [10]. Click the number to see the reference, or (if you have JavaScript disabled) follow the link to the References section below the article. Only the earliest material might not have a reference.

I do not have any formal training in Aboriginal studies, but am active in this area since the mid-1990s. You can find some acknowledgment of my work published on this site on the About page.

You must make money from Aboriginal culture!


I am not speaking on behalf of Aboriginal people, that's not my place. Nor am I making money "from" Aboriginal culture. The money I do charge is for information products that I've created to facilitate learning. You don't pay for culture, you pay for the time, effort and skill that it took to research, design and produce the resource based on the source material I have used (e.g. statistics from the ABS).

Can I advertise on


You sure can! Please check my page about advertising opportunities.


View article sources (2)

[1] 'Indigenous Heritage - Aboriginal culture', leaflet, Parks, Conservation and Lands (PCL), Department of Territory and Municipal Services, 2008
[2] 'A put-up job that boomeranged?',, retrieved 4/2/2012

Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, Frequently asked questions (FAQ), <>, retrieved 26 May 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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