To this day Ceremonies play a very important part in Australian Aboriginal peoples’ culture. Ceremonies, or rituals, are still performed in parts of Australia, such as in Arnhem Land and Central Australia, in order to ensure a plentiful supply of plant and animal foods.
They contrast in different territories and regions and are an important part of the education of the young. Some ceremonies were a rite of passage for young people between 10 and 16 years, representing a point of transition from childhood to adulthood. Most ceremonies combined dance, song, rituals and often elaborate body decoration and costume. The Elders organized and ran ceremonies that were designed to teach particular aspects of the lore of their people, spiritual beliefs and survival skills.
In marriage ceremonies the Aboriginal people are adorned with body paint and wear traditional headdress. Moiety is a form of social organisation in which most people and, indeed, most natural phenomena are divided into two classes or categories for intermarrying so as to ensure that a person does not marry within his/her own family.
Distinguishing decorative body painting indicates the type of ceremony being performed. Ceremonial dress varies from region to region and includes body paint, brightly coloured feathers from birds and ornamental coverings.