TRADITIONAL ABORIGINAL BUSH FOODS - 2

(B) BELOW-GROUND PLANT FOODS.
These include the edible tubers (roots) of a variety of bush potatoes and yams, the bulbs of water lilies and sedges (Cyperus species), and the rhizomes (underground stems) of bulrushes.

 

Lena Nambula digs around a small shoot, following it down to its edible root.
Central Australia.
Photo: David M. Welch.

Aboriginal foods

 

Aboriginal foods

 

Edible roots dug up by Lena Nambula.
Central Australia.
Photo: David M. Welch

 

 
(C) INSECTS.
These include witchetty and other grubs growing amongst tree roots and beneath the bark, green ants, some moths (e.g. the Bogan moth), native cockroaches, and the whirligig beetle.

Bibaj is an insect larva (grub) eaten by people in the north Queensland rainforest. These larvae are found by looking for the tell-tale signs of powder at the tree or holes in the bark, and then searching under the bark. Grubs can be eaten raw or roasted.

From 17 Years Wandering Among the Aboriginals.

Aboriginal foods

 

Aboriginal Food

The wood cockroach (Panesthia), called kalabaj by northern Queensland Aborigines, is eaten by gently crushing the shell between the teeth and then sucking out its insides.
From 17 Years Wandering Among the Aboriginals.

 

 

Whirligig beetles (Macrogyrus viridisulcatus) swim in circles on water surfaces and have split eyes allowing both underwater and above-water vision. They are collected and eaten by the Aborigines of northern Queensland.
From 17 Years Wandering Among the Aboriginals.

Aboriginal foods

 

 

READ MORE ... PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4


Material is copyright to www.aboriginalculture.com.au and David M. Welch.
Students may use material from this site for study projects.
Please acknowledge your source as www.aboriginalculture.com.au, and show the year of access.
The author of all written material is David M. Welch.
Teachers and others may download, print and use material for teaching,
providing you notify your administrative staff or Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) to arrange a contribution. Thank you.