Manwak (Melastoma polyanthum)
Gavin Namarnyilk (b.1987)
Manwak is the Kunwinjku name for two bushes with edible dark berries, Melastoma polyanthum and Leea rubra. Melastoma polyanthum is the bush commonly painted. The berries of these bushes are the only food eaten by Wakkewakken, the native honey spirit whom living in the stone country around Gavin’s outstation at Karbulwarnamyo. People eat the berries too, but they are quite astringent and stain the mouth black. Both these plants grow around permanent fresh water sources, such as creeks and springs.
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