ochre and acrylic on ironwood
55cm x 16cm x 14cm
Hunting for traditional food is still an important part of Tiwi life even though each community has a local store. The social aspect of hunting and gathering is a shared activity and plays an important part in maintaining Tiwi culture and traditions.
The annual event of ‘going bush’ occurs during the dry season, which runs from April to August. The bush holidays or school holidays in late June, early July is a time when the whole family travels together and lives in the bush. This is referred to as ‘returning to country’. The Tiwi go bush to live as their ancestors did, hunting and fishing and living of the land.
The bush provides an abundant amount of bush tucker if you have the skills to hunt and prepare the food. There are buffalo, flying fox, possum, lizard, pig, wallaby, magpie-geese, bandicoot and carpet snakes.
The sea is rich in turtle, crocodile, dugong, oysters, mud mussels, crabs and yuwuli worms. Women often gather plums, bush apples, mangos, paw-paw and coconuts.