Roots of contention: Noongar root foods and indigenous plant taxonomy

Identifying root foods to individual Linnaean species is always problematic because the Noongar had their own criteria and means of classifying plant foods which did not match the Linnaean speciation model (Macintyre and Dobson 2017). The Noongar people of southwestern Australia, like other Aboriginal groups throughout Australia, over many thousands of years accumulated a vast … Continued

Will this ancient succulent herb reveal a medical miracle?

By Ken Macintyre & Barb Dobson, Research anthropologists The Noongar spokesman pointed to the purplish-red fruit of the pigface (Carpobrotus virescens) growing on the dunes at Swanbourne and stated that ‘in summer the ripe fruit of the johnny coolbungs was used just like a salt tablet. It quenched your thirst, gave you energy and was a … 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

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