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"The story of Fire- Stick Burning" Australia Travelogue by tropicrd

Australia Travel Guide: 51,307 reviews and 137,024 photos

Indigineous Fire- Stick Burning

Today,most cultures around the world rely on calandars-and in most western countries the calandar months have been divided into four specific seasons being Summer,Spring,Autumn and Winter.
Whereas in comparison in Aboriginal societies,and due to mostly former traditional practices as hunters and gatherers;and depending on the environmental conditions of their homelands,the seasonal cycles were not only divided even further,but also were relied upon for the survival of the clan group inhabitants.
Therefore, fire- stick farming by Aboriginal people became essential for helping to ensure that their clans groups were able to be provided with a variety of sufficient food.
Europeans today,now aknowledge that fire was very important to the Aboriginal people.
For example in his book The Future Eaters,our 'Australian of the year' for 2007 Dr.Tim Flannery refers to the distinct flora and fauna and the mostly harsh environmental conditions of Australia---which gave reasons why Aboriginal people became fire-stick farmers.
The role of fire played a major influence on the Australian environment and shaped many of the plant species and communities we see today and also through being a traditional practice of Aboriginal people,it has helped to highlight recognition for Indigineous culteral rights and intellectual property-right interests of their lands and customs.

A Cross Culteral explanation of the painting.

Changing Time:

When winter time is approaching,the season is known by the KuKu Yalanji people in Cape York QLD as the 'Changing Time'
It means that when the trees have commenced to flower,it is also the time to shift their camps from the lower flooding country up to the top of the hills.
When the native 'Ngakun' (or Flame tree) is in bloom and the Cherry fruit is red this is the next stage that determines when the Fire-Stick farming commences.
In the painting,the setting of fires by the Aboriginal men is clearly depicted.
The aftermath of fire enhances the new plant regrowth.
All the plants illustrated in the painting are to demonstrate how this happens and this in turn attracts all the animals and water creatures to return to the region.
Explorer Thomas Mitchell wrote in his journal in 1848 "Fire,grass and kangaroos,and human inhabitants seem all dependent on each other for existence in Australia;for any one of these being wanting,the others could no longer continue".

Artists Comment.

The artist Roslyn Serico has given me permission to write about her and her paintings depicting her culture and her life as an Aboriginal woman.
Roslyn was born and raised on a mission and is known as one of "The Stolen Generation" She has shared her life with me openly and honestly and I am honoured she chose me to share it with you.
Anyway--this is her comment:

"By continuing my work as an Aboriginal artist I feel I am helping to maintain the Aboriginal visual culture.
So as to provide a cross cultural understanding of my artworks--over the last ten years I have been purposely developing my usual traditional style of painting to portray contemporary visual effects
for ways to protect our Earth's environment."

If you would like to know more about Roslyn,her culture or her artwork,you can contact me on my homepage or email me via VTmail.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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