Hunting and gathering in Wadeye with CEPO Sarah Kings

21 June 2013
After all the fun and games of the kids day and Mother Day, the time had come in Wadeye to learn about culture and traditional ways from the local ladies.
Airforce Creek Fishing
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The destination was Airforce Creek, not too far out of Wadeye and the goal was to learn the secrets to catching fish, cooking damper in an open fire, tasting the local delicacy longbums and learn about the land and the tribes from that area.

I travelled out to Airforce Creek with four local ladies from the area. On arriving, after a trip through some rough terrain and a short walk through the mud plains to the creek, there were fish to be caught and crocodiles to avoid.

After a few hours and a successful catch of fish, we began our journey back whilst gathering longbums in the mud along the way and set up a camp fire.

As the fire was burning, the ladies made damper on a piece of cardboard whilst they all talked language (Murrinhpatha) and told stories to us in English about the land and it’s people.

The coals were at the right heat so the damper was thrown on along with the fish we caught and the longbums we collected. It was also time for a well earnt cup of tea.

The food was amazing but I can’t say that Longbums are something I’d partake on a regular basis however, the ladies assured me they have great medicinal value when you’re sick – good to know!

As darkness approached it was time to head back into the community. On the drive back one of the ladies sang songs in language. We arrived back to Wadeye and I took the ladies to their home to deliver the feast they had cooked to their families.

Wadeye has some beautiful countryside that is indescribable. The beaches are amazing and the cliffs and creeks even more so. Engaging with the community has been the most amazing experience. I’m so glad I put in the time as it’s definitely paid off and the community have embraced me.