All posts tagged: Spinifex

Spinifex Plain Karijini National Park Pilbara Western Australia

Spinifex and Smoke

“We rose early, for we were eager to make contact with the man and the woman who had signalled us. Travelling almost due north of the bearing we had obtained the previous evening, we had gone eight kilometres when Mudjon called a halt and proceeded to fire the Spinifex once more.” – W.J. Peasley, The last of the Nomads As the sudden appearance of strangers could cause alarm amongst some of the Aboriginal groups that still lived a traditional way of life in the ’50s and ’60s, the practice of setting fire to clumps of spinifex when approaching an area possibly inhabited was adopted by most patrols and expeditions. Not only would the smoke announce your presence, it would also invite a reply. I have been of the grid for some time, consumed by urban life, coping with mundane matters. To avoid sudden surprise, I’ve chosen to signal some smoke by posting a picture of this spinifex-studded landscape in Karijini National Park, first in a series of posts long due!  

Picanniny Creek Purnululu National Park Bungle Bungles Western Australia

Purnululu Dreaming – Return Downunder

The Kija people of the East Kimberly Region in Western Australia are the traditional owners of the mighty Purnululu or Bungle Bungle range. They are the testimony of human presence in this area for at least 20,000 years, following a strong tradition in which ancestral beings, ceremonies and rituals constitute Ngarrangkarni, a complex term popularly known as the Dreaming or Law. The same Ngarrangkarni explains the creation of Purnululu’s sandstone structures, gorges and waterfalls through narrative instead of definition, leaving to our imagination the formation of the landscape by creatures as the rainbow serpent, frogs, crocodiles and fish. According to our Western point of view the sandstone beehive towers of the Purnululu Range were created by twenty million years of weathering by wind, rain and flowing water instead of spiritual creatures. The dark bands that wind horizontally around these structures are formed by cyanobacteria, single-cell photosynthetic organisms that belong to the oldest life-forms on earth. As the dark bands contrast with the lighter sandstone, the myriad of dome-shaped towers form one of the most extraordinary and unique landscapes of this continent. The evocative power of the Australian wilderness is …