Skip to content

Suggested Reading List

Some Useful Bush Foods References

The CRC for Desert Knowledge have compiled a great range of resources about Bush Foods that are available in PDF format from their website. See the link to their site on the RIG homepage.

If you know of other good books or resources that you’d like to see added to this list please let us know by email and we’ll aim to add them in.

IAD Press – National Indigenous publishing.

The Institute for Aboriginal Development Incorporated (IAD) was established by the Uniting Church in 1969 to assist community development for Aboriginal people and  provide cross-cultural education between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal society. It is now an independent Aboriginal community-controlled language resource centre and adult education centre serving the Aboriginal community of Central Australia.

IAD Press produces material on the Aboriginal people, language and culture of Central Australia, and has produced a range of publications about bush foods. See their website for further information and to order publications:

Central Australia: Useful publications available from IAD include

Anmatyerr Plant Stories, IAD Press, 2003.

Bushfires and Bushtucker – Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia, IAD Press, first pub. 1995, last reprint, 2004.

Women’s Gathering and Hunting in the Pitjantjatjara Homelands, IAD Press, 1002.

Bush Foods – Arrernte Foods of Central Australia, IAD Press, Alice Springs, first published 1994, republished 2005.

(A lively and accessible book that provides a comprehensive survey of desert plants and plant use. By Peter Latz, Senior Botanist at the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Alice Springs).

Arelhe-Kenhe Merrethene – Arrernte Traditional Healing, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 2007.

Punu-yankunytjatjara plant use. Traditional methods of preparing foods, medicines, utensils, and weapons from native plants, Jukurrpa Press, IAD Imprint, First edition 1982, reprint 2002.

Northern Australia: some key references

Jawoyn Plants and Animals – Aboriginal flora and fauna knowledge from Nitmiluk National Park and the Katherine area, Northern Australia.

Published by Jawoyn Association. ISBN: 1920772111

Lenny Gappuya Liddy et al, Wagiman Plants and Animals – Aboriginal knowledge of flora and fauna from the mid Daly River area, Northern Australia.

Published by Wagiman Rangers and the Northern Territory Government. ISBN: 0724548777

Merrilee Lands, and the Dampierland Oral History Project.

Mayi –  Some Bush Fruits of the West Kimberley, Magabala Books,  New edition, 1997. ISBN: 9781875641338

Bush Foods – General

Tables of Composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1993. Prepared by Janette B Miller, Keith W James and Patricia M A Maggiore, the tables provide detailed nutritional information and are arranged by the four groups: vegetable foods; fruits; animal foods; and insect products.

Philip A Clarke, Aboriginal People and Their Plants, Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd, Sydney, 2007. A broad overview and analysis of the use of plants, including ecotourism, new foods and thoughts on the future of Australian ethnobotany.

Les Hiddins, Bush Tucker Field Guide – 175 species distribution maps and traditional uses, Explore Australia Publishing Limited, ABC Books, Prahran, 2006.

Jennifer Isaacs, Bush Food, Aboriginal Food and Herbal Medicine, New Holland Publishers, Sydney, 1987, republished 2002.

Tim Low, Wild Food Plants of Australia – Australian Nature Fieldguide, Angus & Robertson, 1988, revised edition, 1991.

Ralph Murray, Seed Collection of Australian Native Plants for Revegetation, Tree Planting and Direct Seeding, Bushland Horticulutre, South Lyonville, first pub. 1993, second reprint 2006.

One Response Post a comment
  1. Chelsea permalink
    May 25, 2011

    where can we get the mayi book?

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS