Australian Museum Journal Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, part X. There is likewise a nut. . . a comparative ethnobotany of Aboriginal processing methods and consumption of Australian Bowenia, Cycas, Lepidozamia and Macrozamia species

Shortform:
Asmussen, 2011. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 23(10): 147–163
Author(s):
Asmussen, Brit
Year published:
2011
Title:
Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, part X. There is likewise a nut. . . a comparative ethnobotany of Aboriginal processing methods and consumption of Australian Bowenia, Cycas, Lepidozamia and Macrozamia species
Serial title:
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum (online)
Volume:
23
Issue:
10
Start page:
147
End page:
163
DOI:
10.3853/j.1835-4211.23.2011.1575
Language:
English
Date published:
17 June 2011
Cover date:
17 June 2011
ISSN:
1835-4211
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ABORIGINES: AUSTRALIAN; ARCHAEOLOGY; CULTURE: INDIGENOUS
Digitized:
17 June 2011
Available online:
17 June 2011
Reference number:
1575
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (45kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (858kb PDF)

Abstract

As a result of research throughout tropical Australia, much is known concerning the various techniques Australian Aboriginal peoples used to remove toxins from Cycas seeds prior to consumption. However, comparatively little is known about the methods used to process Macrozamia seeds and if they are regionally or genus specific. This paper describes the methods used to process different Macrozamia species, as recorded in Aboriginal and historical accounts throughout the eastern, central and southwestern parts of Australia. A comparative ethnobotany of the processing methods and food uses of the four genera of cycad found in Australia: Bowenia, Cycas, Lepidozamia and Macrozamia, is then presented. This review confirms that although there are many similarities in processing techniques and uses between these genera, there are also important differences, including variations in processing methods partly related to water availability, regional differences in the parts of the plants which were consumed, and contexts of use between different areas of Australia.