NYUL NYUL CAMPS AND BUSH FOOD GARDENS
Nyul Nyul people planned out the land to suit their needs creating bush gardens of their favorite foods, medicines or plants for artifacts and ceremonial uses.
“People knew where to go and camp. These were special places for day time and night time. It might be on high ground where the breeze is strong or where there’s shelter, with plenty of bush food and fresh water!” In a big camp at night many clans would sit down together mainly telling each other stories. Some would be singing and dancing and the older ones might be making artefacts and teaching the young ones, you could see campfires burning everywhere near the lakes. Little children would be running about and everyone would be happy with life, everything was well.There were times when our old medicine woman would go out and collect bush herbs and medicine plants available for anybody who was hurt or sick and they would attend to them. There was medicine for every illness from what was available to us from the land. The bush was our garden full of bush fruits and vegetables, bush honey, kangaroo, possums, bush turkey, goannas, ducks, fruit bats, eels to mention a few.” Some very old people couldn’t travel around anymore and they became the caretakers of an area such as a lake. Young ones would bring them tucker from the sea regularly when the rest of the tribe was away. These caretakers would manage their area and create more plants to grow and would always have something waiting for us when we returned. That’s why even today we can pick out the old camps because they have been cultivated by our ancestors.”
Bruno’s families bush name is Winawarl. It means most southerly wind of the sandy point.
“There’s a big camp at Winawarl and it’s where the reefs and fish traps are... the Indian Ocean. Breeze blows day and night, its nature’s air conditioning. Old people always call me Winawarl.”