History and Anthropology
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This paper uses a cultural anthropological approach to investigate an indigenous Australian perspective on atmospheric phenomena and seasons, using data gained from historical records and ethnographic fieldwork. Aboriginal people believe that the forces driving the weather are derived from Creation Ancestors and spirits, asserting that short term changes are produced through ritual. By recognizing signals such as wind direction, rainfall, temperature change, celestial movements, animal behaviour and the flowering of plants, Aboriginal people are able to divide the year into seasons. Indigenous calendars vary widely across Australia and reflect annual changes within Aboriginal lifestyles.