Looking for Turkey Eggs

Looking for Turkey Eggs

Looking for Turkey Eggs

©Melanie Hava 2016
91 x 140cm
Mixed Media
AVAILABLE via Umi Arts

My Grandma and her “jaman” (younger sister) Lola/Lorna and the “muynggalgan” (eldest sister) Mabel/Jimurroh would go in the rainforest scrub “dulgu” and “wabu” with their “yabu” (mum) Minnie and other family like their “ngagi” (mother’s father) Grandad’s next wife Grannie Maggie, looking for bush turkey “moongarah” eggs.  They would bring the eggs “bambu” back to camp and cook them up and eat them.  The bush turkey is well known right throughout Queensland and into New South Wales I think, with their bare red heads and yellow or blue throat wattle.  The 20 rainforest Aboriginal groups have different language names for them, including  “diwan” in the north and “djarragun” in the south of Cairns, where “djarragun” is also the place name for the Pyramid hill near Gordonvale, because it’s shaped like the turkey nests the bird is known for.  Knowing when and how to collect “moongarrah bambu” scrub turkey eggs for eating shows just how much cultural knowledge is needed, and the importance of stories passing the knowledge along.

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