Beware: Bush food can be dangerous

Australian indigenous “bush foods” over the years have become a big business with gourmet restaurants and the ever-expanding cultural tourist industry. This is all well and good but in Western Australia the bush-tucker industry is largely unregulated. It is not that we are seeking to impose strict government regulations over the bush tucker industry but … Continued

Ochre: an ancient remedy

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

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