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Aboriginal Collective (Aboriginal Resistance)

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Aboriginal art
The Aboriginal Collective was a society formed by the tribal people of Australia who were willing to 'extend' their beliefs. It was this group that first challenged the British upon their attempted colonization of Australia.

The Collective was originally treated as the Aboriginal Union, until its collapse in 1719 and its reformation in 1741. At this point, it was announced to be the Aboriginal Collective.

Forming of the Union

The Aboriginal Collective had been formed many years prior to the coming of the British. In 1539, a leader named Mandu began questioning ideas of a united tribe. This had been considered before, but the idea had never been taken seriously. His powerful words and particularly vocal speeches, however, began to sway the tribe he was charged with, Mangarla, which was situated in the west of Australia.

After Mandu's death, and the carrying away of his body, the various tribes began to understand what he had been telling them. The attack to retrieve the body had in itself been a particularly unusual act, partly because there had been multiple tribes involved in the attack and partly because the body was not the property of the attackers. Nevertheless, the people had seen a chance to change their ways for the better, and they had decided to take it.

Mandu's beliefs had been heard for miles around. Now these tribes responded to his summons to unite, after a great deal of conflict managed to compromise on the particular deities and their names. So, in 1553, the united tribes became the first Aboriginal Union, or 'Uwan' in their language, meaning 'to meet'.

First Movements

One of the most significant problems associated with the Union was to settle the decision of leadership. As well as many tribal leaders wanting the power, each tribe had its own slightly different leadership system, meaning that there was no easy way to solve the problem. In the end, it was decided that a man named Nioka would lead the Union.

Under this much larger and better managed tribe, their way of life became much more sophisticated: they were able to collect and farm many more resources, they built much stronger settlements, and they were on constant lookout for more candidates to join the Union. By 1571, the Union consisted of over twenty different tribes.

The Union was so successful that other tribes began to consider it as a significant threat. In 1659, Nioka was killed in an impressive attack by the nearby Binigura tribe. This angered the Union and its leaders to force them to retaliate against the Binigura and eliminate them. Now, there was no doubt in the minds of the neighbouring tribes that this was indeed a very dangerous force.

The Union began to create a Tribal Code for itself, thus bringing a degree of order into a still chaotic society. Every member of the Union was expected to obey the Code and disobedience was punished with what was still a particularly random justice system, with much of the sentences being execution. In consequence, the Code was rarely disobeyed.

Since the Binigura incident, the Union maintained peaceful relations with its neighbours, trading resources regularly. However, in 1587, a man called Pindan came to be the leader of the Union. He had been radically criticized for his unusual ideas, even ridiculed, but had nevertheless managed to win over popular opinion.

Contradiction

Under Pindan's rule, there was much contradiction to the idea of a Union. Escaping from their original lust for change, the people were beginning to question the rights and wrongs of their actions. Their deities, they believed, would not like this sudden change, and these were not the same people who had joined Mandu is his ideals, but their ancestors, several generations along the line. Many were still content with the idea, many were annoyed but not so much to take action, but a small group of men, highly loyal to the deities and their beliefs, decided to strike out.

Pindan had to act quickly. Like all of the other Aborigines, he believed in the many deities that governed their land, but had also considered, (unlike the resistors), that their laws were 'open to interpretation'. In a desperate attempt to correct things, he spoke in great length to his people, begging them to understand his way of life. At first, the people seemed happy to listen, but over time they became bored of his pleas, striking out.

But Pindan would not back down. Instead, he stood up stronger, ready and waiting to withstand the attacks that would come. But he also made one important discovery, one particular law in the Tribal Code, which stated that 'all men must abide by their kin'. It was Pindan's desperate efforts in trying to convince them that all of the Union were of each other's kin that eventually ceased that fighting. Looking back, modern historians believe that if it were not for Pindan's valiant efforts, the Union would have collapsed within a matter of weeks.

Now that the Union was secure, it was time to try and expand, while keeping the current members loyal. This task would be challenging, even for an established leader such as Pindan. To do this, he created the Collective Pact, which would replace the under-appreciated Tribal Code.

Expansion

By this time the fact that such a union existed had become common knowledge throughout Australia, but few believed it would last. Many thought that their actions were against the will of the deities, and would all be punished, but no such action came, and soon even this theory was questioned. What if this really was the will of the gods? Pindan certainly made it seem so.

Up until his death in 1601, Pindan did everything in his power to try to convince the other tribes of the truthfulness of the Pact. He was massively successful, the reason for this being unknown, but it was most likely his great sense of patriotism and loyalty to the Union and the Code. Often whole tribes would not join the Union at once, but members would leave their tribe believing that the Union was the best way to understand the deities. As the Union grew and grew, so did its population and strength. Its people were loyal and its power was
Australia 1705

Australia in 1605. The red area is the land currently occupied by the Aboriginal Union.

unchallenged.

By 1605 the Union occupied a significant portion of Australia, although nearly all of this was desert, meaning that it had very little land value. Nevertheless, it was uncontested by other tribes, but it is likely that this would have been the case even if the Union had forced their way into the richest land on the island (although this would never occur, because it was against the laws of the Pact, which was strictly enforced and flawlessly obeyed).

Pindan's successor was a man named Orad. He led the Union with strict and efficient leadership, reducing the freedom of his members and refusing to expand, at the risk of losing what he already had. This 'safe' style was not deemed popular by the Union, and in 1608 an uprising forced him to flee the settlement. He was not seen again.

Age of Culture

The Age of Culture lasted between 1608 and 1688, when William Dampier made first contact with the Union. Many members of the Union still consider this to be the 'Golden Age' of the Collective.

Determined to forget their previous leader, the people elected (a democratic system brought in by Pindan, abolished by Orad and then resurrected in defiance to Orad's ideas) a leader named Arunta. He was known for his love of art and culture, and believed that through this, instead of Pindan's favoured political propaganda, was the best way to convince tribes of the wonders of the Union.

Arunta loved music and adored art in its every form. He would hold compulsory performances by leading musicians (the favoured instrument being the traditional didgeridoo), partly for ritual purposes but also for entertainment. He would train the musicians to such a standard that people would come from all over the area to listen, and at this point Arunta would explain the brilliant ideas of the Union. This strategy was a massive success and encouraged unification from all over Australia.

Australia 1620

Australia 1620

The people loved this way of life and loved Arunta even more. Consequently, there was a great sadness when he died in 1623. Fulfilling the standards that he had set would not be an easy task.

His successor was also an art lover, named Yuka. He preferred visual arts to Arunta's favourite of music. He encouraged people to express themselves with pictures and was the first to begin using symbols to convey meaning. This was the first form of written communication that the Aborigines used.

Yuka would often use a variety of symbols to 'write' about his experiences, but would also encourage people to come up with and use their own. People were amazed at this revolutionary new idea and loved it. By 1640 it was used commonly over the whole of the Union.

Yuka continued his passion for art until his death in 1648, the midpoint of the supposed Age of Culture. He continued to hold music recitals, although these were no longer compulsory. He also began to hold 'symbol ceremonies' for people who took great interest in writing. These were continued after his death.

From 1648 to 1688, the Union was led by a number of leaders, all with a passionate interest in the art being produced by its members. For each of them, the pattern was the same - they would establish themselves, develop the culture of the Union, expand the Union and then die in some unexplained fashion, much to the disappointment of his people. Banjora ruled from 1648 to 1657, Dheran led from 1657 to 1669, Lowan from 1669 to 1674 and Girra from 1674 to 1689, one year after the end of the Culture Age. During the rules of these leaders, the Culture and success of the Union became far more established. The Age ended with the arrival of the pirate and explorer William Dampier.

Militarization

Dampier beached his ship, Cygnet, on the fifth of January 1688, at King Sound on the northwest coast of Australia. Coincidentally, missionaries from the Union were speaking to a large tribe there, attempting to convince them of their beliefs. It was a great surprise, therefore, when a man with white skin and strange clothes began walking towards them from the beach, where they could vaguely see the outline of a large vessel. Although there had been previous contact with explorers before, particularly Dutch pioneers, this contact seemed to unnerve them more than before. They sensed a certain hostility in the air, and, as Dampier was as surprised as the Aborigines were to make contact, seemed very surprised and also somewhat scared, taking precautions such as carrying his pistol.

This tension quickly reached a climax. When a group of children decided to come closer and investigate, Dampier became scared that they were attacking, firing his pistol at one of the children and killing him. This both scared and angered the tribe, but the missionaries from the Union left before anything else happened. They travelled quickly back to their territory, to warn their leader, Girra, about what they had witnessed. There was no doubt in their minds that this was an attack, and that the enemy must be destroyed.

Girra himself agreed. Upon hearing the recollection of the events, he proclaimed to the people that their land was under attack from a terrible enemy. They were horrified by this, and under the Pact, being an enemy of the Land was one of the greatest crimes, and punishable in the strictest manner. Girra then told them that the time for culture was at end, and it was time for militarization, to protect their land against the invasion that would soon come.

Word spread quickly across the continent, and when it was heard that invaders were coming, and that the Union was preparing to fight it, the Union's numbers swelled. Every tribe believed that the Land was an essential part of life, and to contaminate it was the worst of crimes, so many tribes wanted to fight it.

Girra himself was killed a year later, when he was leading a scout party to hunt for more invaders. This created great excitement in the Union, for it was understood that a great leader would be needed to lead the defence. It took three months for a leader to be chosen, owing to the importance of such a choice, and the eventual winner of such a decision was Narrah, who came to power in 1690.

Under Narrah's leadership, a great armoury was assembled. He did not consider training important, or most likely even consider such a concept, but instead focused on developing weaponry, constructing slings, spears and small catapults. He also began to construct small outposts along the coast, who would watch for any passing ships.

Dampier, who had fled following the incident in 1688, was still believed to be residing on the island. It was considered a great success of Narrah's, therefore, when Dampier was brought to him buy leading Union warriors in 1701. Under the Pact, he should have been immediately executed, but Narrah took a risk in keeping him alive, even just for the three days that he did. Little was achieved during this time, probably owing to the language barrier, and in an attempt to extract information Dampier was tortured to death. This meant that he never completed his first circumnavigation of the globe, nor any of the expeditions that came after it in our timeline.

Narrah died suddenly two years later. Apari, his replacement, was known as an exceptional man before he came to power, but lost all of this respect after just a year later. In fact, his decisions nearly made the Union collapse. He began to recruit a fighting force to combat any invaders, but this was not a popular idea - the tribesmen liked to be free to go to attack or defend what they wished, and did not appreciate this attempt at organizing a more efficient resistance.

Desperate, Apari added the principal of Conscription to the Pact. Using this technique, he could force men to join his force and the force in turn would enforce this policy.

The Collapse

This change was made to the Pact in 1705. Every six dawns, the force would move through the Union and select twelve men, who were deemed of a good enough standard to fight, were forced to fight for the Force. To refuse was against the Pact, and was punishable by death.

But this idea was not popular. In fact, it was despised by a great number of men across the Union. It came into a period of unrest, and the people began to express their ideas a little more 'vocally'. Unseen by Apari, small underground resistances were beginning to operate, that challenged Apari's ideas. Soon, their leader became aware of this, but there was little he could do about it other than emphasise the punishment for disobedience of the Pact.

But this was not enough. In 1711, the various resistances united together and attacked Apari's home. The leader himself was not there, but his friends and comrades were all brutally murdered by the attackers. Yet this did little to help the Union - without a leader, it collapsed into anarchy. The resistance announced themselves joint leaders of the Union in an attempt to maintain control, but this was unsuccessful, and the Union began to divide.

Desperate, the leaders dispatched their force across the Union. Their job was to maintain order and kill anyone that resisted. Yet there were simply not enough soldiers entirely loyal to the leaders to make this successful, and in 1714, the southernmost area of the Union, now known as the state of Juat (a former tribe), declared itself a separate state from the Union. Just seven months later, two more states, Kariara and Tenma, jointly declared their independence and simultaneously announced themselves allies, so that any attempt to attack them by the Union would mean that the other would provide protection. Armed with this knowledge, the Union made no attempt to reabsorb them.
Australia 1719

Australia in 1719, showing the state of the Union after its collapse.

By 1719, five states had announced their separation from the Union. It was eventually decided to dissolve the idea of a Union and just form a large tribe. This tribe took on the name of Arrente - Jawuru. This marked the final end of the Union. To the right shows the states at this point. Orange marks Arrente - Jawuru, yellow Jauraworka, blue the state of Kariara, green Tenma, red Juat and purple the small state of Kokatha.

The State War

Australia stayed in much the same way for the next twenty years. There were a few disputes over territory during this time but, desperate to establish themselves, no state would risk a serious enough confrontation that could lead to war. This meant that disputes were resolved easily.

In 1740, however, all of this changed when the state of Juat declared war on Tenma. The next day Kariara declared war on Juat for its supposedly unprovoked attack on its ally. This attack seemed like suicide on Juat's part - Tenma and Kariara's alliance was no secret and even alone one's army was easily sufficient to bring Juat down. However, in response to Kariara's attack, Kokatha declared war, and simultaneously Jauraworka issued a message to Tenma saying that if it did not break off its alliance with Kariara then it would also declare war. Tenma refused, and Jauraworka joined the war. The only state so far that had taken no action was Arrente - Jawuru.

Very quickly the alliance were given names by the people of the states. Tenma and Kariara became known as the Central Alliance, and Juat, Kokatha and Jauraworka became the State Entente. While the Alliance's troops were more organized, the Entente's were chaotic. Yet they significantly outnumbered the Alliance, and after three years the war reached a standstill.

Four years of war saw little advance by either side. While both sides were desperately looking for a new way of fighting a war, some action was taking place in Arrente - Jawuru. The super state had recently come under a new leader, Darel. Now it was secretly readying its army.

Forming of the Collective

Years passed with very little change. Incredibly, Darel had managed to hide his militarization from the eyes of the other leaders, who were watching their own war far too closely. Arrente - Jawuru's military actions were known throughout the state, but as it was forbidden to leave, the knowledge stayed there. Finally, in 1747, they struck.

Darel began moving troops rapidly into Kokatha, annexing it just three days later. By the time this information reached Juat and Jauraworka, the army of Kokatha had already pledged its allegiance to Arrente - Jawuru, increasing its number by thousands. And this would continue - two days after the annexing, the combined army charged into Kariara, whose army was almost entirely at the border of Juat (with the army of Tenma). Kariara was annexed another day later, when Arrente - Jawuru captured their leader.

Kariara's army, patriotic even in the face of defeat, pledged temporary allegiance to Tenma in the face of crisis. Yet they still faced a serious decision - they could leave their own state to Arrente - Jawuru and continue the front against Juat, or turn tail and try and retake their own state. In hindsight, the decision they made is considered the wrong one - they retreated, taking ninety percent of their men with them.

Juat, seeing a golden opportunity, struck almost immediately. In a battle lasting less than an hour, their armies obliterated the remaining warriors of Kariara and Tenma, rapidly expanding their own borders virtually unchallenged. By the time they reached the armies of Arrente - Jawuru, they were completely surrounded by both of their opponents. In realization of the superior power of their enemies, they surrendered. Tenma was then also annexed by Arrente - Jawuru, followed by Juat three months later.

Age of expansion

Like before, the states of Australia had been reunited. With so much resistance from the native people, Darel was forced to take action. To celebrate this unity, his renamed the state the Aboriginal Collective. It was not enough to satisfy the people, but it gave them enough trust in their new leader to accept him, at least for now.

At this early stage in his rule, he worked hard on building up strong relationships with his people by satisfying them whenever he could and giving as much as he was able when he entered a difficult situation. Over time, this made him particularly popular.

As a leader, Darel was considered the most adventurous, and perhaps the best. He rapidly expanded his borders. He built up his military. He dealt with any sign of rebellion quickly and efficiently. He even began to prepare for the 'invasion' that had been prophesized. Yet, despite this, he was still loved by the vast majority of his people.

He lived until 1763. As he died, he said that the Collective should not be ruled by one man, but a whole group, the Collective Board. This would ensure that it would stay united and not break up again. By the time he died, the whole of Jauraworka and a great deal of territory in every direction from the Collective was occupied. His actions were followed immediately, partly because they knew that he was right, but mainly out of respect.

With the establishment of the Board came a new form of leadership. Life overall became fairer to its inhabitants, but often at the expense of any tribe the Collective forced to join. Nevertheless, this was effective because people would come to join the Collective so that they could be treated normally. The people would choose the members of the Board whenever a new one was needed, and this was appreciated.

Arrival of the colonizers

By this time the Collective had been so successful that virtually the whole of Australia was under its control, including the east coast and Camp Cove, where the First Fleet landed. It was there that the Battle of Camp Cove was fought and won, as well as several other victories nearby. For the timeline click here.

Unification of Australia

For many years, the Collective successfully held off attempts at colonization from both the British and the French. They also succeeded in an invasion of New Zealand and later Tasmania. Riots in the north lands had proven to be a challenge to defeat, but owing to the formation of the League of Sky, they were eventually suppressed.

In the year 1800, the Council of the Collective that it the people and the land that they ruled could no longer be called a mere organization, but a powerful nation. Unknown to them, Australia was one of the most powerful nations in the world, and fast growing in strength, but they did realise how strong they were becoming. After months of debate, it was decided that the Collective should be reformed; their powerful nation was renamed the Central Republic. This republic would grow rapidly to become one of the most powerful forces in the world.

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