Koori coast

Passing on knowledge

Making spears

We used to make spears when we were kids. And I've been doing the same with my boys ...

What I used to do with my sons and their friends when they were younger is - I used to go out and get some garaara sticks. A lot of Koories know garaara - tall and slender... What you used to do is take the bark off them and put them in the fire in the ashes - it hardens it up - and put three prongs in the end and sharpen them up. I've made heaps of them. They still do it - a few old fellows still do it. Jimmy Scott

Spear making
Jimmy Scott using garaara (Brush Kurrajong)
to make a fishing spear. Photo: Daphne Nash


Collecting muttonfish and bimbalas

Last time we had muttonfish was before Christmas... Might go tomorrow - it's good to dive. I'm the only girl in my family that dives; I was always the tomboy.

We'll go to Merimbula and get bimbalas and my sister is going to cook them up in a curry with some rice for NAIDOC week.

Sometimes I worry... it's important for our kids to know this stuff and I don't know many of them do - our family does!
Cheryl Davison

Bimbalas and oysters
Cooking bimbalas and oysters. Photo: Daphne Nash


Dharawal/Dhurga words:

bimbala – Blood Cockle Anadara spp – edible shellfish
garaara – Brush Kurrajong  Commersonia fraseri – slender tree used for fishing spear

View a Dhurga pronunciation and spelling guide here.