Click the sound file to hear the Nyungar word:
The weather continues to warm up. Nyungar moved down onto the coastal wetlands to feast on estuarine fish, the birds that flocked there during the nesting season, and the birds' eggs. The Nyungars preferred young birds, chiefly parrots but also hawks, ducks, swans and pigeons. Gilgie (freshwater crayfish) were caught. The Moodjar (Christmas tree, Nuytsia floribunda) provided sweet gum when the bark was removed. The heath (Astroloma sp) and Quandong (Santalum acumiatum) were in fruit, and the yams of the Warrine (Dioscorea hastifolia) were also collected. The juicy tubers of Djubak (orchids) were collected and eaten raw or roasted. The small red berries of the Djuk (broom ballart, Exocarpos sparteus) were ripe and tasty throughout much of the hot weather. This time of year Mamang (whales) migrate south down the coast. If a whale beached, several groups would gather together for a week-long celebration, roasting the meat or eating it raw, and rubbing themselves with the whale blubber.
Photo Sam Blight