Aboriginal sites are an important part of the heritage of the whole community

Why does the Western Australian State Government permit a foreign-owned cement company to gradually destroy through hard rock quarrying a portion of the Darling Escarpment adjacent to the popular John Forrest National Park? This quarrying activity is not only destroying pristine vegetation but is slowly desecrating one of Perth’s most ancient and unique Aboriginal site … Continued

Typha

  How many of us know that Noongar people of southwestern Australia seasonally harvested one of the most ancient carbohydrates known to humankind that derived from the succulent rhizomes of Typha or the common bulrush found along the margins of rivers, lakes and seasonal wetlands. The Noongar called this food plant yanjet – a term which alludes to … Continued

“Light time” in early Noongar culture

It has often been assumed that traditional Aboriginal people lived in a timeless society. The eternal Dreamtime or Dreaming was understood to encompass the past, present and future.  While this notion of timelessness may be true from a mythological perspective, what often goes unacknowledged is that Aboriginal hunter-gatherers evolved over many thousands of years a … Continued

Acacia gum experiment

As the natural production of Acacia gum can be highly variable depending on climatic conditions and insect predation, we never doubted that indigenous people in southwestern Australia would have artificially wounded gum-producing Acacia to ensure a dependable supply during the gum (“galyang”) season in late spring/ early summer as this was an important food, food additive … Continued

Mapantjara: the desert shaman

Mapantjara is the traditional name of the Western Desert shaman or “Clever Man,” who was commonly referred to as “Mapan” by my indigenous informants at Wiluna in Western Australia. He is reputed to cure illness through his great knowledge of magic and ability to control mystical powers. Not only does he have the ability to … Continued

Walking in the Drummond Nature Reserve

Yesterday we went walking in the Drummond Nature Reserve, northwest of Toodyay.  It was a relaxing day as we walked through bushland of Xanthorrhea (grass tree), she-oak, wandoo, marri and wildflowers. We tried to capture some impressions of the place and the wildlife that we encountered.      

Aborigines of the King George Sound region 1836-1838

This book can be purchased at Hesperian Press. The collected known works of James Browne have been annotated with explanatory notes by Ken Macintyre and Dr Barb Dobson in order to provide a biographical and ethnohistorical context. Where Browne has omitted to use the traditional Noongar terms for artefacts and known ceremonial rituals, these have been … Continued