Rediscovering an ancient oil fruit in southwestern Australia

Aim: The aim of our reconstructive anthropological experiments was to gain an understanding of why Noongar people, unlike other Aboriginal groups in Australia, processed and consumed only the sarcotesta (outer fleshy layer) of Macrozamia discarding the carbohydrate-rich seed (endosperm).  It is our assumption that the sarcotesta was processed for a number of reasons, most importantly … Continued

The ancient practice of Macrozamia pit processing in southwestern Australia

Introduction  Why did Noongar people ferment Macrozamia sarcotesta? Was it to detoxify it? It is our view that over many thousands of years of trial-and-error and empirical scientific observations that Noongar people developed their own unique and sustainable food processing techniques, in particular the controlled anaerobic fermentation of the fruit (seed covering, outer rind) of Macrozamia … Continued

Pre-contact indigenous Fremantle

Consultations were held between Noongar Elders and Fremantle Ports’ representatives in 2009.  Numerous ideas were generated as a result of workshops facilitated by consulting anthropologists Ken Macintyre and Barb Dobson at Fremantle Ports. All the Elders agreed that a map of pre-contact indigenous Fremantle should be created which showed the original topographic and vegetation features … Continued

Some notes on Banksia useage in traditional Noongar culture

Cultural knowledge determines what we eat, the timing of eating and how food is prepared.  Probably in the distant past when the original inhabitants of this land were adapting to their new environment, they ate certain plant products (roots, berries, gums and fruits) that made them ill or even killed them.  From these trial-and-error experiments … Continued

The conveyor of souls: the Pied Cormorant

“… in the Faroe Islands, Siberia, and among the Ipiutak of Alaska, for example, diving birds are thought to ferry spirits of the dead to the next world, situated under water rather than in the heavens”

Factoring Aboriginal Environmental Values in Major Planning Projects

‘We’re not against development….Why can’t you mob listen to us and meet us halfway. You can have your development and we can keep our bushland and keep the rivers clean for your children and ours. What we are against is cutting down all the vegetation, dirty­ing up the rivers and groundwater and planting all those … Continued

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