Miwulngini – Red Lotus Lily
Margaret Gilbert (b.1956)
This print shows the very beautiful red lotus lily (Nelumbo nucifera), which is found in the many billabongs around the Daly River region. The seeds from the miwulngini (lily pods) may be eaten raw or roasted over coals. These seeds are a rich and abundant food source for the Aboriginal (Ngan’gi) people of Daly River. Miwulngini has a number of uses. The large green seeds (actually fruit) are eaten raw or lightly roasted; they are very good to eat and occur in large numbers in the mid dry season. The roots are also eaten after roasting and they are used as medicine to treat constipation. The new leaf shoots are eaten raw. The large concave leaves can be used as a hat, as camouflage when hunting in the billabong or to carry water and to wrap food when cooking. Collecting waterlily fruits is one of the favourite activities of senior women at the Daly River. The fruit are found on the bottom of billabongs, as the fruit swell with seeds they get heavy and fall to the bottom. The fruit are located with the feet while slowly walking through the water.
Copyright for both painting and text remains with Merrepen Arts, Culture and Language Aboriginal Corporation and may not be reproduced.
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