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Experience Aboriginal Culture and Bush Tucker

Many stones and gnamma holes made and used by Aborigines have been found on their camp sites throughout the area. Aboriginal art in the form of painted hand marks can still be seen on rock at the Humps and there is evidence that Aborigines resided in the area. It is thought the tribal elders proclaimed the area taboo country in the 1700's because of Mulka's spirit. The legend of Mulka is part of the history of the district. 

Experience Aboriginal stories and bush tucker with our experienced guide - details to be confirmed

History

Research has shown Aboriginal culture to be at least 40,000 years old, but archaeological excavations in the floor of Mulka's Cave suggest that use of this site was relatively recent. Stone artefacts and bone remains were found in association with old camp fires which have been dated to about 400 years ago.

Rock Art

The dominant art in Mulka's Cave is hand stencils, of which there are over 140 examples representing both adults and children. Stencils are made by placing the hand on the rock then blowing over it with pigment. When the hand is removed, a negative impression remains. The reason for making hand stencils are many, but principally they are a form of signature left by those who had rights to the area.

There are also some line paintings which are often outlined with the finger or with a fibrous twig dipped in crushed ochre mixed with water. 

Gnamma Hole

Rainfall is low and unpredictable in Australia's arid regions, but water can be found if you know where to look. The traditional owners of these lands depended on and protected such seemingly hidden water souces for many thousands of years. One of the main sources of water for the Aboriginal people were 'gnamma' holes. These natural cavities are commonly found in hard rock, particularly granite outcrops, and as such act as natural water tanks which are replenished from rainwater runoff.

Gnamma holes vary in shape and depth, and the small surface area of the hole helps to minimise evaporation. Aboriginal people would lay sticks, leaves and flat rocks over the narrow opening of the gnamma holes in order to protect the precious water sources from being fouled by animals, and to further prevent evaporation. 

The Sheoak Tree

At the base of Wave Rock and at the rear exit of Mulka's Cave at the Humps, you will see the Cassuarina trees (sheoaks) which were often used by Aboriginal people for making wooden shields and utensils. 

The Red Capped Robin

You may be lucky enough to see the Red Capped Robin flying around whilst on your travels. These birds feature in Aboriginal mythology. The Robins were called Pinny Pinch or Cubbie, meaning 'friend'. According to legend, the Robins generously gave their bright red feathers to some of the Parrots who were eager to beautify themselves.

Aboriginal Bush Tucker

Traditionally the Quandong was an important food source for Australian Aborigines as it was considered a suitable substitute for meat - especially when hunting game was in short supply. Quandong gathering and food preparation was considered "Women's Business". Ripe red Quandong fruits would be eaten raw or dried for later use. 

Amoungst Australian Aborigines, Quandongs were much valued for their medicinal properties. Specialised uses of the fruit included a form of tea which was drunk as a purgative. The tree roots were also ground down and used as an infusion for the treatment of rheumatism. Typically the leaves were crushed and mixed with saliva to produce a topical ointment for skin sores and boils. Encased within each Quandong seed is an oil rich kernel which was also processed in a similar fashion to treat skin disorders. Quandong kernels could also be eaten and some tribal groups were known to employ crushed kernals as a form of "hair conditioning oil". 

Contact Information

Contact

Wave Rock Hotel/Motel

2 Lynch St, Hyden
Western Australia 6359

Phone: +61 8 9880 5052
Fax: +61 8 9880 5041
Email:
[email protected][email protected]

Wave Rock Caravan Park

1 Wave Rock Rd, Hyden
Western Australia 6359

Phone: +61 8 9880 5022
Fax: 08 9880 5018
Email: [email protected]

Road Conditions

All roads to Hyden have
sealed surfaces

For daily road conditions check the
Shire of Kondinin website, or call

+61 8 9880 5052
Click here to download the 2 Day Experience brochure
2 Day Wave Rock Experience