Bushtucker and Hunting
A governing factor in the uniqueness of the tribes of South East Queensland was their ability to make nets and cord of varying size and strengths. Tom Petrie documented [(2). pp. 85] how nets were used in capturing large marsupials like the kangaroo by chasing the animal into a net tied between two trees and then hitting it with a club (club was called kutha by the Kabi Kabi [(9). pp 121] and waddie by the Turrbul [(2). pp. 102-103]). Nets and cord were also used in capturing a variety a marine life including fish and dugong [(2). pp. 67-75]. Birdlife was also captured using returning boomerangs to scare birds into nets tied high up in the trees[(2). pp. 91].
The methods used required a greater degree of group participation and coordination, compared with tribes that relied on skilled individuals hunting with spear and woomera to provide large game. It is theorised that these group hunting methods positively altered the political ecology and created a greater sense of community. Each individual was valued as they had a role to play in the success of the hunt.
Native food (Bushtucker) and water retrieval in South East Queensland is a fascinating topic. The flora that is unique to the area can inspire a connection between the person and local environment. Pat and Sim Symons contributed significantly to this research area with the book Bush Heritage. (5)
Warning: Take caution in consuming, touching, and/or using bush food based on information provided by SEQ History. Identifying plants incorrectly and not preparing the food properly can cause minor or serious harm and can even be fatal. Environmental and Conservation laws also need to be considered when sampling native plants.
Advice: If choosing to ignore warnings and wanting to disregard Environmental and Conservation laws and values, please take steps to minimize any negative effects.
Use WildNet to identify if the species is rare or endangered. Sampling a Bracken Fern (Pteridium Esculentum) will be less detrimental than sampling the Finger Lime Fruit (Microcitrus Australasica).
Take a sample that is out of sight. This will prevent destruction of a plant that is there for everyone to see.
Formal education in plant identification can be very useful. Identifying the correct plant is harder than it looks. Plant identification can lead to an enjoyable hobby in itself.
Take safety measures when sampling the bush food. Apply the food to the lips first, the next day apply to the mouth without swallowing, the day after try a small sample, then if showing no symptoms try a larger sample. Monitor how much, when, and what was consumed. Only consume the one bush food in the day. Have someone else present that is not trying the bush food and have medical services close by. Ideally, do not try it at all without being advised by a professional that can take responsibility.