Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (TSI) people have been playing a rich diversity of games in organized forms for tens of thousands of years. Many traditional games were recorded by early settlers, government officials, scientists, and missionaries who travelled throughout Australia during the 19th century. Aboriginal games can be viewed in relation to their direct and indirect association to daily activities, whether economic, political, or domestic in nature, including the formation of group identity and social interaction. Sadly, after colonization, many traditional games were lost because of factors such as loss of land, loss of tradition, and fragmentation of Aboriginal communities. Author Ken Edwards explains that “one of the first activities to be suspended when a society comes under threat is games.” Most games are played for fun and enjoyment; therefore, they are largely abandoned in the face of an imminent threat to the survival of their people. Today, ...