Members of the MalakMalak language group (Biddy Lindsay, Helen Kuwarda, Frances Miljat, Rita Pirak and Kitty Waliwararra) – the Traditional Owners of Country in the Daly River region of the the Northern Territory – worked with CSIRO to document and produce the MalakMalak and Matngala plant knowledge calendar1.
The calendar highlights important food and medicine plants, and their seasonal availability, as understood by MalakMalak people.
For example, ripe Pinyyakper (Morinda citrifolia) is chewed to treat cold and flu, while the leaves and pods of Darik (Acacia auriculiformis) can be rubbed in water to produce a soapy lather used for both washing and as a fish poison, to stun fish in small pools.
The bark of Elu (Buchanania obvata) is used in a preparation for the treatment of skin sores and fungal infections, while the flowering of Yyety (Cochlospermum fraseri) signals that freshwater crocodile eggs are ready to be collected and eaten.
The calendar was developed as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge project on Indigenous socio-economic values and rivers flows in northern Australia.
MalakMalak and Matngala plant knowledge calendar
- Emma Woodward (CSIRO), Biddy Lindsay, Helen Kuwarda, Frances Miljat, Rita Pirak. and Kitty Waliwararra. 2010. MalakMalak and Matngala Plant Knowledge, Daly River, Northern Territory, Australia. CSIRO (Land and Water).