Category Archives: Indigenous

Tjukurpa

Harmony – Word of the Day

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Photo: Dry creek bed – the Hull River, Northern Territory. This particular spot is also the site of Kulpi Tjuntinya also called Lasseter’s Cave. The river is mostly dry on the surface, and runs underground. There are many soaks along its route. When it does rain heavily the water can be one third up the height of those trees, which given the width, is a mighty volume of water.

The Australian bush, long before white settlers, was well protected with the harmony of traditional law or Tjukurpa – pronounced Chookapah (following the Central and Western Desert peoples view). The law is an oral tradition handed on generation to generation and memorised. One of its central principles is respect for all the elements of nature because everthing is in relationship and everything has an effect. While the words harmony or balance are not explicit, the principles are evident in the way Australian indigenous peoples treat the land and each other.

 

In the Balance

Where once where trees lie salted plains
and dusty cattle ruts.
Camels, mines and 4x4s,
billabong and creek consumed.
Settlers coveted and misunderstood,
but the Anangu have wise ways,
and through their ancient dreaming,
there came ways of loving nature whole.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, history, Indigenous, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry, Quadrille

Less Is More

Abundant – Word of the Day

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Mate, there’s nothing out here, we’re stuffed now. On the way to Jindalee.

To the untrained eye that’s true, but to any of our local indigenous clans, there’s no reason to panic because to the familiar and trained eye, there’s an abundance of food out there, what we call bush tucker.

If you are a meat eater, then kangaroo, emu, wallaby, snakes and lizards, to name a few, are nearby. Quandongs, bush plums, mulga apples, wild orange, and more are nearby. There are also mulga seeds and wattle seeds. Plenty of insects abound, cicadas, witchetty grubs, and various caterpillars. Some sweet things like nectar, especially from the honey ant, and honey from native bees. There’s surface water in the wet season, some soaks and Gorges during summer, and if you dig there’s often water close to the surface near tree roots, and granite outcrops. Then there’s various flax and flat leaved plants you can use for making baskets and any number of containers, trees for shade and shelter, tinder for fire. To the untrained eye – there’s nothing out there. I’m no expert but to my eye and many others, there is definitely an abundance of food and life out there.

“Less is more” is a phrase from Robert Browning’s poem ‘Andrea del Sarto’ (1855). This phrase was popularised by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the principle of Minimalism in architecture in the 1940s, van der Rohe was a leading figure in the Bauhaus movement. The Aussie bush is vast but sparse, which makes me think it is a living example of Browning’s phrase, less is more.

The sparse bush is deceptive, and yet to those who know, it’s like a magnet that draws you to linger a while and indulge that other abundance – peace. To continue a theme, in the bush there is an abundance of peace, a joyful solitude, a nurturing silence. There is a generous time out in the bush, there is no competition to mark time, no stress in taking time. No wonder many of us say it is a healing space, body, mind and soul. The bush is generous, extravagant, and abundant. It teaches me to live those values. And it teaches me that less is actually more.

maples abundant
black pine a mass of needles
cherry soul-gasm

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, community, food, Haiku, Indigenous, life, mindfulness, nature