Matching exercise

Read the text to find the words and phrases and match them with their definitions.


The First Australians were nomadic people who arrived from Asia across land which is now submerged. They originally settled around the fertile coasts and rivers but later moved across the continent, adapting to areas of rainforest, mountains, and desert. In the desert areas, people lived in small groups, often moving camp in search for food. In more fertile areas, they built homes that could be used for several months.

These original inhabitants were later called 'Aboriginals', meaning people who had lived there since the earliest times. As there were no wheeled vehicles or animals to ride, the Aboriginals walked everywhere. Each group travelled along familiar paths within its own territory. Many of these routes were thought to be the paths of their Dreamtime ancestors.
The Good Earth
maori_chief.jpgAboriginal people lived off the land but did not cultivate it at all. Most of their time was spent finding food. Women searched for edible roots, grass, seeds, and small animals such as lizards. Men hunted larger animals such as kangaroos and possums, or caught fish and ducks from the rivers and coasts. People knew which trees to climb to find honey and birds' eggs. Trees provided berries and nuts, as well as wood for boats, spears, shields, and dishes, and branches that could be used for shelters.
Dreamtime Ancestors
Tjukurpa.jpgThe Aboriginals believed that in the beginning ancestral heroes wandered the earth and gave it meaninig. This was known as the Dreamtime, or Tjukurpa. Some ancestors were human, others were animals and plants, sun, wind, and rain. Ancestors moved around the land following certain paths. These paths were important because they linked the land and the people. By looking after the sacred sites and re-enacting the actions of the ancestors, Aboriginals could be sure of continuing harmony in the world.

Steering by the Sun and stars, and using their knowledge of the sea, the Polynesians settled most of the islands in the vast Pacific Ocean. To cross the great expanses of the open sea, these skilled seafarers studied wind and wave patterns, interpreted cloud formations, and watched the behaviour of certain land-based birds. Historians think that people originally set out from islands of Southeast Asia about 4,000 years ago. Tonga and Samoa were settled first, then the Marquesas Islands and Tahiti. From there, some sailors explored northwards, reaching Hawaii by about 100 AD. Others headed east to Pitcairn and still more reached Easter Island by about 400 AD. Although the way of life varied slightly from one group of islands to another, most early Polynesians lived in small communities grouped into tribes ruled by powerful chiefs. The last great journey, in about 950 AD, was undertaken by a group of Polynesians to a land they called Aotearoa - now New Zealand.
Ocean Travel
CanoeMaori.jpgThe early Polynesians used their boats for fishing, trading, exploration, and for long journeys to planned destinations. By far the most common boats in the islands were canoes, which were built in many shapes and sizes. They could carry just one person or be 30m (100 ft) long and capable of transportating up to 500 people over distances of more than 2,500 km (1,500 miles). Paddles were used for covering short distances but sails were needed to catch the wind for long journeys.
The Largest Islands
MaoriM1.jpgWhen the Polynesians (who were later called Maoris) reached New Zealand, they found the land was much colder and wetter than they were used to. The only familiar crop they could grow was a type of sweet potato. They hunted a large flightless bird, the moa, and relied on farming, fishing, and gathering. Maori families belonged to a tribe and were ruled by a chief, or rangatiri. They worshipped the spirits of dead ancestors and also believed that certain people or places were sacred. These were called tapu, or taboo.
travelling from place to place
to go under water
to go and live in a place
which produces good crops
people who lived a long time ago
and to whom you are related