ARC centre researchers learn about Jagera people’s history, culture and plant uses

ARC centre researchers learn about Jagera people’s history, culture and plant uses

Posted by Sophie Ader

What a treat of a day out for the Uniquely Australian team.
Commencing with a meet and greet, whilst enjoying lemon myrtle scented cordial (delicious, by the way!!), Madonna and Ezekiel introduced themselves and invited us to partake in a smoking ceremony, which got our minds in a space to learn together.

We were invited to try starting the fire using the hand drill, and while Saskia, Em and Michel certainly gave their best efforts, intermittently invoking tiny puffs of smoke, eventually the experts had to be called on. The warm and inviting scent of the smoking coconut husk was a beautiful experience to share together, before we embarked upon our bush walk.

Madonna and Ezekial guided the tour, to and from the fresh waterhole, all the while generously sharing their extensive knowledge of the native flora. We were taught how to extract the soothing sap from bulrushes, and the uses for tea tree (bye bye headlice!), as well as shown how to weave twine from bulrush foliage to make beautiful baskets. We also got to savour the delights of the bush, enjoying the sweetness of native mulberries, the refreshing pea-like taste of stem tips, the juiciness of lime berries, and the zing of native ginger.

We were all awe-inspired at the sheer volume of edible plants available to those with the wisdom to navigate nature’s buffet, and the tour has certainly instilled in us the motivation to learn more about edible and medicinal native flora.

Without a doubt one of the best elements of Madonna’s tour is her extensive knowledge of her family history and her generosity with which she shares this insight into her cultural heritage through enthralling storywork. This included a visit to a ceremonial site, which could not help but instil quiet awe throughout the group.
The final part of the day was a platter of bush food goodies, which we all enjoyed immensely, while swapping reflections of all we had experienced that morning.

There is no doubt that we were all deeply humbled and altered by our experience at Nyanda Cultural Tours. Madonna’s warmth, sincerity, and wisdom made this morning such a special memory for all in attendance. It is one of those experiences you could attend again and again, deepening the learning with each visit. Thank you Madonna and Ezekiel for welcoming us to your Country. It was a privilege to share this space with you.

Others can participate in Madonna’s tour here:

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