Bush Tucker

Bush tucker is food that is native to Australia and is collected and eaten by the Australian Aborigines and now bush walkers.

Aboriginal women have their own ceremonies in which a series of song and dance cycles tell of the Ancestral Beings who walked the earth teaching women’s law and ceremony of where and how to collect bush food.

Each tribe or cultural group has its own set of women ancestors with different stories, designs and dances.

Most of the ceremonies have one theme common to all groups – that of food gathering as the most important part of women’s lives.

Men can also depict women’s dreaming in their paintings, but they discourage women painting men’s ceremonies.

The men’s role in the gathering of food for the tribe is hunting and their ceremonies and paintings reflect this role.

The song and dance cycles mainly revolve around bush tucker, such as wild yam, bush banana, wild tomato, plum, onions, honey ants , witchetty grubs nuts and berries.

In their paintings they may also depict the implements they use including digging sticks, and coolamons for carrying and the foods they collect.

The abstract figures or symbols they show in their paintings are the same as those painted by men.

The U shape represents a person or groups of people sitting down. A larger U shape indicates a wind break.

Concentric circles in the painting can represent a campsite, resting place, stone, waterhole or fire. The more concentric circles the more important the meeting or the place. The imprint of human feet, animal paws or other tracks depict tracks of humans, kangaroos, emus, possums, etc.

Bush food paintings can show how, where, when and by who will do the collecting