Aboriginal man with two lizards, called Goanas.
Woman digging for witchetty grubs.
The grubs are larvae, found in the roots of the Witchetty tree.
Aboriginal people did not farm the land because they did not need to. Instead, they would go out each day to hunt and gather food. They also used practices that would encourage a supply of food all year round. Normally, Aboriginal groups were easily able to find enough food for their entire clan in three or four hours of hunting and gathering each day. They know which fruit and animals are available at certain times, how to gather or hunt successfully and how to store foods. They know this because centuries of knowledge about bush tucker that has been passed by stories from one generation to the next, helping Aborigines ensure they don't overburden their food sources.
Popular meals include possum, kangaroo, wombat, dugong, fish and shellfish, eel, goanas, snakes, turtles, emus, and insects. Food was always shared among clan members. Kinship groups have their own special methods of cutting up and preparing meat. Some animals might be roasted in coals, others roasted in a 'ground oven' of buried hot stones. Paperbark and other fragrant leaves are also used to wrap up food and steam it or to give it a smokey flavour.
If a clan did run out of food, most had special places that they kept in reserve, known as 'living larders.' This might be a nearby river or a hive of honey bees.
Aboriginal Water Values and Management in Northern Australia
Aboriginal Cooking - Mullet
All About Bush Foods : Traditional and Commercial Uses.
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