Aborigines are the native people of Australia, tracing their history about 40,000 years. They now make up less that 2 percent of the population but remain vocal about their treatment in Australian society. Social problems are still the rule for their minority group, including much higher rates of child mortality, unemployment and criminality than in the white majority. Life spans are also significantly shorter among Aborigines.
BODY PAINTING: Aborigines paint their bodies for ceremonies or to tell stories about their tribes or families.
DIDGERIDOO: An instrument made of a long, hollow piece of wood. Aborigines blow into it, making music or imitating animal sounds. Most are about 5 feet long, but some ceremonial ones are much longer.
STOLEN GENERATION: A term used for legions of Aboriginal children taken from their parents and placed in white foster care and institutions from 1910 through 1970. Last spring, an Australian government document denied there ever was a "stolen generation," infuriating many Aboriginal leaders. "All bets are off," Lyall Munro, Olympic protest campaign delegate to the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, told the Sydney Sun-Herald. "Aboriginal people will rise up in this country and show the world how racist Australia is."
PROTESTS: Aborigines have vowed to protest during the games to bring attention to their treatment in Australian society. They already have set up a tent city and planned to march at the airport.
_ Compiled by Mike Stephenson.