Manme (Bush foods)

Kunwinjku people sometimes call the bush their “supermarket”. It contains everything from staple foods to snacks, medicines to raw materials. This bold painting celebrates manme, plant foods. The painting depicts karrbarda (long yams, Dioscorea transversa) and mankinjdjek (“cheeky yam”, Dioscorea bulbifera). Cheeky yams must be finely cut and rinsed before cooking. This can be done in a river using a loosely woven djerrh or dilly bag, as shown in this design. Arnhem Land abounds in fruits, especially in the “build-up” and early wet seasons. The round fruits shown here are mankurndalh (Vitex glabrata or “black plum”) and mandak (Persoonia falcata or “milky plum”).