ABORIGNAL HARVESTING & CULTIVATION – BUSH FRUIT ORCHARDS
Aboriginal people harvested fruits and medicines in season all year round; this was a big part of their survival and lifestyle, and they had great knowledge of the land.
Bruno calls his elders, their professors.
“They knew what went together with this and what went together with that.” He says, “It’s a great shame that their knowledge was crushed because it could have been of benefit to people with all the sickness in the world today. We had medicines for all illnesses which kept us disease free. We had healthy teeth and hair also great stamina. There were people in our tribe who specialized in our well being, called medicine people, mubarn in our language. In our tribe we have connections with certain trees where something so special may have happened. A birth may occur and the after birth is buried under a special tree, or someone might ask to be buried there. That tree will belong with the family. Our trees also belong to tree families which belong to that area and place We will visit these areas to take different things we need and it is our job as caretakers of the land to make sure they are safe from fire and that we don’t take too much so that there will always be plenty to go around in the future. Harvesting and cultivating the bush was our special field. In my traditional country we have bush orchards which have been maintained by our people for thousands of years. We rub the dead bark off trees, take of the dead wood and remove debris from the base of a tree. This is a way of pruning, but it also shows the tree that we care for it and love it and the tree will respond by giving us what we might want or need. We are not just takers in our culture, it is important that we are givers too. Our elders lived this way and taught us how to love and respect nature, and the land. If there was a lake or special place to go they’d show us how to get there or even take a short cuts or something like that. It is how we progress in our culture by the example of our elders.”
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