Patjala is a Martu Aboriginal word which literally means ‘to bite.’ In a traditional medical context the term also denotes the deep sucking or cupping action of the shaman or mapantjara when he bites and sucks the affected part of a client’s body in order to remove the harmful affliction believed to be causing his or … Continued
Author: Ken Macintyre
“My spirit know the way to place where I been born – it travels like kiirr-kiirrpa (hawk) to my ngurra – that’s my “Patjuntjari” (dream spirit journey). (*Jimmy, traditional Mapantjara/ shaman) I first encountered the phenomenon of “dream flying” during a field trip to Wiluna in January 1975. It was late December, the hottest time … Continued
The hammer stone was found in a sand dune in the vicinity of the Vlamingh Memorial. The artefact is made from a fossiliferous sedimentary material (source of stone unknown). Description: oval shaped, length 100mm, width 80mm, thickness 20mm, weight 450 grams. Colour grey, texture course grained. Pitting and some battering marks at the centre on … Continued
Indigenous West Australians once used animal fat mixed together with finely ground red ochre wilgi as a treatment for a range of skin infections and wounds. Greasing the skin with a fatty unguent protected the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, insulated the body from the cold and deterred biting insects. When animal fats were … Continued
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 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
Early Nyungar hunter-gathers understood the efficacy of pain-relief using techniques similar to those employed in acupuncture or acupressure.
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.
The official declaration of the fish habitat protection area at Cottesloe & Leighton by the Minister for Fisheries, Hon. Minister Kim Chance Most members of the community are pleased that we now have a hard-won Fish Habitat Protection Area at Cottesloe. It has taken a lot of hard work and effort especially on the part of … Continued