Australia has minted a 50 cent coin to pay tribute to indigenous peoples and the 120 aboriginal languages still spoken in the country, although they are in danger of extinction.
On the reverse of the silver coin, terms such as "nambal", "wumara", "tjimari", "ngweltye", "mulu", "walang", "barnda", "bakir", "awarnda", appear in different variants. buoy "," dhinggarr "," wangarri "and" pirrki ", which in different languages mean stone, coin, money or pebble.
The polygonal pieces include 14 aboriginal languages, which are spoken both in the extreme north of Australia, through the bowels of its central desert territory or the extreme south of the country.
In the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Australian Mint seeks to "celebrate the diversity and authenticity of indigenous languages" and join efforts to "preserve, protect and revitalize them," said its executive director, Ross MacDiarmid. at the launch of this piece this week.
And is that the languages spoken by the natives and islanders of the Torres Strait, in the northeast of the country, are in danger of disappearing.
The Second National Survey of Indigenous Languages of Australia, which was published in 2014, revealed that of the 250 languages recorded in 1788, only about 120 survive.
The indigenous languages of Australia have great cultural and spiritual richness because they reflect the connections with the land. the history of creation, as well as the complex family relationship and norms that its speakers have.
"Indigenous languages have more meaning than the words themselves, just as the currency has a meaning beyond its monetary value," according to Craig Ritchie, executive director of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Studies (Aiatsic, by its acronyms in English), that collaborated in the project.
"The minting of these coins is another milestone in the recognition of the diverse cultures that make up our national history of more than 60,000 years," added the co-chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Year of Indigenous Languages of Unesco.
For example, Maningrida, a remote Aboriginal community in northern Australia, with its more than 2,300 inhabitants who speak up to 15 languages and dialects, is as linguistically diverse as any great capital in the world.
The aborigines, who represent 2.5 percent of the population, of more than 22 million, live mostly immersed in poverty, in remote or poor areas, and with a household income that barely reach 62 percent of the population. the national average.