World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Indigenous Australian food groups

Article Id: WHEBN0007980948
Reproduction Date:

Title: Indigenous Australian food groups  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bush tucker, Australian Aboriginal sweet foods, Australian Aboriginal culture, Koori, Australian Aboriginal bushcraft
Collection: Australian Aboriginal Bushcraft, Australian Aboriginal Culture, Bushfood, Diets, Nutrition
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Indigenous Australian food groups

Indigenous Australian peoples traditionally classified food sources in a methodical way. Below are a few examples.

Central Australia

In Central Australia, people used innovative means to obtain a balanced diet.

The food categories, and their Arrernte names are:[1]

Arrernte name Foods Examples
Kere food from animals; meat, fat, offal, blood, eggs Kere arlewatyerre (goanna), Kere ulkerte (perentie), Kere arntetherrke (carpet snake), Kere aherre (kangaroo), Kere antenhe (possum), Kere inape (echidna), Kere ankerre (emu).
Merne food from plants; fruit, vegetables Merne atwakeye (wild orange), Merne arrutnenge (wild passionfruit), Merne pmerlpe (quandong), Merne mwanyeme (bush tomato), Merne arnweketye (conkerberry), Merne alangkwe (bush banana), Merne arlatyeye (pencil yam). merne marrre (Honey Beans)
Ntange (Merne ntange) edible seeds Merne ntange ulyawe (Pigweed seed), Merne ntange arlepe (Prickly wattle seed), Merne ntange artetye (Mulga seed), Merne ntange arlketyerre (Dead finish seed).
(See also: seedcakes)
Tyape edible grubs and insects; witchetties, cicadas, Tyape atnyematye (Witchetty grub), Tyape ahernenge (River red gum grub), Tyape ankerrutne (Coolibah tree grub), Tyape tyerraye (Cicadas), Tyape ayepe-arenye (Tar vine caterpillars).

Tyape atnyematye (Witchetty grub)

  • find cracks in the ground underneath a Witchetty bush (Acacia kempeana)and dig there
  • lever up swollen root where the grubs are located
  • eat grubs raw or cooked in hot earth
  • squash guts of the grubs onto sores
Ngkwarle honey-like foods; nectar, wild honey, lerps, gum
Ngkwarle athenge arlperle (Ironwood tree gum), Ngkwarle alkerampwe (Mulga tree gum, Ngkwarle arlperrampwe (Whitewood tree gum, Ngkwarle atnyerampwe (Supplejack tree gum), Ngkwarle akikarre (Witchetty bush gum), Ngkwarle aperarnte (River Red gum honeydew, Ngkwarle yerrampe, (Honeyant), Ngkwarle arwengalkere (Native bee honey), Ngkwarle untyeyampe (Corkwood flower nectar).

Some other category words from Arrernte that are used in relation to food include:

  • Thipe fleshy flying creatures; birds (not emus), bats
  • Kwatye water in any form, sources of water; water, rain, clouds
  • Arne trees, shrubs, bushes, woody plants, some grasses
  • Ure fire, things to do with fire.

Top End

In the Top End, seafood plays an important part in the diet. The food groups and their Yolngu names are:

MARANHU (foods)
Yolŋu name Foods
Murnyaŋ'

(plant or vegetable food)
Alternative names: Dhäkadatj; Ŋayaŋay', Buku-bira'

Gonyil

(meat, shellfish, eggs)
Alternative names: Matha-yal, Merrpal'Matha-bira,
Ŋänarr-yal

1. Borum— fruits 1. Warrakan'— land animals and birds
2. Guku— bee products 2. Miyapunu— marine mammals
3. Ŋatha— root foods 3. Maranydjalk— rays and sharks
4. Manutji Ŋatha— seeds 4. Guyafish

4 Honey Beans

5. Mudhuŋaycycad foodstuffs 5. Maypalshellfish, crabs
6. Mapu— eggs

The old people would talk about the need to eat from both murŋyan' and gonyil food groups and the need to supplement their diet with gapu (fresh water). While this balance was maintained, the people knew they were eating correctly.[2]

When the men would come back from the magpie goose hunt, they would be craving murnyaŋ foods after having eaten so much meat and eggs. Meanwhile, the women, children and old people back in the camps would be looking forward to gonyil, magpie goose meat and eggs, after eating so much murnyaŋ'.[3]

References

  1. ^ Turner, Margaret-Mary, Arrernte Foods, Foods from Central Australia, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 1994, ISBN 0-949659-76-2 pviii
  2. ^ Richard Trudgen, below
  3. ^ Thomson, Donald and Peterson, Nicolas, Donald Thomson in Arnhem Land, Miegunyah Press, 2003, ISBN 0-522-85063-4, p 158.
  • Trudgen, Richard, Why Warriors Lie Down and Die, ARDS, Darwin, 1996, ISBN 0-646-39587-4, p 140
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.