The Science of the Dark and Light Seasons in Nyungar Culture
By Ken Macintyre and Barb Dobson, Research anthropologists and Iva Hayward-Jackson, Nyungar heritage consultant and Land & Culture Protector ‘Qua, bir-ok, mag-goro warh-rang.’ ‘Yes, three years (summers and winters).’ (Symmons 1841: xiii) Charles Symmons (1841) who was the “Protector of Aborigines” and reasonably fluent in the Nyungar language provides the earliest linguistic reference to the … Continued
Toodyay – A Little Bird’s Song
History is highly dependent on how we interpret the past and what we want to believe now (Macintyre and Dobson 2015). As long as we can remember there has been a controversy over the meaning and origin of the name Toodyay. We have been led to believe by our local Council that the name derives … Continued
Typha root: an ancient nutritious food in Noongar culture
In our paper on bardi grubs we mooted the possibility that indigenous people of southwestern Australia practised the earliest known form of insect husbandry. It is not hard to imagine that these same people also practised a type of incipient agriculture, as noted by Grey (1841: 294) with his reference to the cultivation of yunjeedie … Continued
The Sweet Gum – a Nyungar confection
Acacia gum was by far one of the most important nutritional substances.
The Puzzle of the Bardi Grub in Nyungar Culture
As anthropologists we have often been confused by the use of the indigenous terms bardi and witchetty used to describe edible grubs in Australia. These terms are often used interchangeably to the point where bardi becomes defined as a witjuti grub and vice versa. How confusing is that?