Territory Stories

Angka Akatyerr-akert



Angka Akatyerr-akert

Other title

A Desert raisin report


Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages Project; PublicationNT; E-Books






This material was collected by the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages Project between 2013 and 2021. The project was led by Charles Darwin University in partnership with the Australian National University and the Northern Territory Government and funded in part by the Australian Research Council.; Copyright held by individual storytellers, individual photographers and their organisations


Alyawarr speakers from Ampilatwatja, Fiona Walsh and Josie Douglas; Authors approved upload to LAAL via email 18/05/18; This book may contain photos of people who have passed away.


Alyawarr language C14


Instruction; Australian lanuages; desert raisin; LAAL; Alyawarr; Bilingual education resources; Alyawarr language C14; Aljawarra; Alyawarre; Iliaura; Aliawara; Aliwara; Aljawara; Alyawara; Ilawara; Iliama; Iljauara; Iljawara; Illiaura; Illura; Illyowra; Ilyauarra; Ilyowra; Jajuwara; Yalyuwara; Iliaura; Ilja:wara; Iljaura; Ilyaurra; Ja:wara; Aljawara; Ilaurainya; Udnla; Ilyuarra; Alyawarra; Aliawara; Alja:wara; Alyuwara; Illaura; Iloura; Ilyawara; Ilywara; Jaljuwara; Yalyuwara; Alyawerr; Alja:wara; Alyawarri; Arandic

Publisher name

Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre

Place of publication

Alice Springs

File type


Other identifier

cdu:61782; LAAL_ID:al0014




Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial International 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Copyright owner

Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

4Angka Akatyerr-akert: A Desert raisin report For useful education references: Michael M. Anlezark J et al. 1998. Beyond bush tucker: implementing indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum. Published in Proceedings of the Australian Science Teachers Conference, pp. 101110. NTG. 1991. Health is Life: A health Education Resource for Aboriginal Schools. NT Department of Education, Darwin. NTG. 1090. Handbook for Aboriginal Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory. NT Department of Education, Darwin. ISN. 2009. Indigenous Science Network. Convenor: Michael Michie, Darwin, Australia. Retrieved July 2009, from http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mmichie/network.html. http://www.science.org.au/primaryconnections/plantsinaction.htm#resourcesheets http://www.science.org.au/primaryconnections/resourcesheets/plants/ PlantsInActionCurriculumLinks.pdf Tangentyere Landcare. 2007. Land and Learning: A central Australian environmental education program for Aboriginal schools and others. Tangentyere Council: Alice Springs. p. 128. www.schools.nt.edu.au/tlcland Sorting/classification/ palatability Collect lots of different Akatyerr fruits. Sort the fruits into different types. Arrange them into groups by their order of ripeness. Match these words to the fruit types: green, hard, yellow, soft, brown, wrinkly, dry, black. Sort the fruits again into groups by order of their taste. Which types taste best? Which types taste bad? Which should you not eat? Observation/checking up/ biology/burning Find an Akatyerr plant. Carefully dig to follow its root system (like when digging Bush potato). Is it short or long? Does it connect one Akatyerr plant to another? How would you redo the drawing in www.schools.nt.edu.au/tlcland at p. 52? Ask old people (your grandmother or aunty, grandfather or uncle) about how people burnt country in the olden days (there were special rules for burning country). Why did they burn country? Why would a plant with roots like this benefit from burning? Geography/mapping Make a map of where the Akatyerr patches grow near your community. Show on the map the features that are important in helping people to find the patches. These could be sand plains, roads, creeks, water holes. You might be able to see the plants there now. You might remember where they were when you collected them in the past. The map can be made in three dimensions using rocks, rope, etc, or on a satellite image or written on paper. Add a distance scale to your map. Measure how far it is to the patches. Is this distance by road or is it in a straight line? Social In Alyawarr social systems of kinship, Akatyerr has skin names and other social roles. What are the skin names in your area? Who do you know who is related to Akatyerr? Do you know any Akatyerr people? Is their relation to the plant by kinship, as a totem or by another connection? Ecology/food webs What animals eat Akatyerr? What animals live on the plant? Look closely at the sand near Akatyerr plants. Notice the tracks of different animals. Sit and watch the flowers and fruits to see what insects visit. Make clay or plasticine models of these animals. Food preparation/ microscopic features Alyawarr people know when they rub the fruit these are being removed so the fruit is less bitter and more can be eaten. Look at Akatyerr under a hand lens or microscope. Can you see the waxy surface and fine hairs? How might the wax and fine hairs help the plant survive? Compare how they look before and after rubbing in sand. Discuss why this preparation method might be important. Maths/mass/weight Collect lots of Akatyerr fruit. Fill up cups, billy cans, tin cans or plastic containers. Line up the containers from those with the most fruit to those with the least fruit. Weigh each container. Work out the total weight of fruit. Time/seasons On a calendar, mark when different bush foods ripen and can be collected. Can Akatyerr fruit be picked for days, weeks or months? Compare it to when Anatye (Bush potato) can be dug up. Is the season for Akatyerr longer or shorter? Does it fruit every year, or only some years? Inter-relationships/systems science Keep working through the circle diagram (p. 54) . Look at and work on documenting the white circles. Identify how they inter-relate.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

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