Aamba (kangaroos) and other animals
Aamba is one of the most important animals on and for our country. Aamba is important for our Law and Culture.
When we talk about aamba and how we should look after them, we are also talking about other meat foods such as yadarra (sand goanna), garndula (plains goanna), jebarra (emu) and barnarr (bush turkey).
In the old days, aamba was one of the main foods eaten and each animal would feed one or more families. It is still one of our favourite bush foods. We know 8 types of aamba that live on Wunambal Gaambera Country. We hunt them all. The seasons tell us when aamba will be fat and time to hunt.
Burning the right way is important for making sure there is enough food for aamba to grow healthy. Traditional hunters used fires to herd aamba into an area where they could be speared.
“When we see aamba, our big animals, we know our country is healthy.” Neil Waina, Uunguu Ranger.
We have traditional stories for our aamba. It is important we pass these stories to our young people. Aamba is part of our wunan business – our story for the ways our old people ran the Law, shared and made business.
Our country is valuable and special because there are not many places like it left in the world, where all the animals that were here before aalmara (European people) came, are still here. The monyjon (monjon), the smallest rock wallaby in the world, is only found on Wunambal Gaambera Country.
“Kangaroo plays a major role in our dreamtime, that’s why it’s in every rock art.” Sylvester Mangolomara
One Wanjina, Wirralawirrala and his Gwion wife, made the wulo and all the yam and other foods found there. Wulo is found throughout Wunambal Gaambera Country; in wunggayila (volcanic hills) and wunaggarr (sandstone and sand plains).
We need to keep track of what is happening in the wulo to make sure it stays healthy.
Right way fire is important for wulo.
Yaway are all freshwater places on country – rivers, creeks, springs, billabongs, floodplains, swamps, waterfalls, rock holes and underground water.
Yawal are like a cultural map of our country. Our ancestors travelled from yawal to yawal, camping, hunting and carrying out cultural traditions.
We use plants for bush tucker, medicines, tools, weapons and art and craft. We also use plants to tell us when bush tucker and meat foods are ready to collect, hunt and eat. If bush tucker and meat food taste good, our country is healthy.