Well what a welcome back to country and what a great festival, I have always managed to miss this festival and only heard snippets about it after the fact and I figured out because it is on the same weekend as the Cygnet Folk Festival I have been missing it because I used to go to that until it got to expensive & crowded for me.
Well the putalina festival was just perfect the property itself has awe inspiring views of the bay and is so diverse in plant and animal life I can see why it was and is so important to the local mob, the festival is small enough to still be intimate just they way I like it and surprisingly it is free with a free feed and not just any feed propa big feed, sitting there in my chair waiting for the first acts to come on I could smell the mutton birds or Yalu (Puffinus tenuirostris) cooking it was driving me to distraction OMG what a smell absolutely mouth watering it always takes me back my childhood it was the well loved seasonal smell of my grandmothers kitchen you could smell them coming up the driveway and when I smell them now days it triggers of very faint memories of actually going out onto the island with my family and sticking my arm in dark burrows not knowing what was actually in there could be a tiger snake a, there was always this lingering fear because the tigers loved the young birds and eggs too, after grabbing the young birds and pulling them from there warm beds the birds were killed quick as you like with a snap of the wrist they were dead in seconds.
So sitting there day dreaming about mutton birds I thought to myself oh they must be cooking them for the elders but no they had many many birds and they were for everyone I couldn’t believe it we were so privileged that the local mob share this most precious of all foods with us and they were absolutely delicious they were cooked to perfection, they also had many dishes to choose from from roo stew, wallaby steaks, snags, beef burgers to veggie burgers and lots of veggies n salad.
The whole thing was very well organised and set out there were activities and a ride for the kids to keep them busy and the entertainment was incredible ranging from well known legends like Archie Roach amazing as ever, Dewayne Everettsmith n the stunning Denni Proctor through to ones I haven’t heard preform before I was blown away by the young Kartanya Maynard I couldn’t believe such a soulful voice could come out of someone so young just incredible and I also have to mention Tarkira Simon Brown her music is strangely dark and introspective the lyrics at times a mix of English and Palawa Kani, hers is a name to look out for in the future a unique talent for sure.
Dispersed through out the music acts the youth dance troop kanaplila ripana (Youth Dance) preformed their new dances for our delight these new dances were the resulted of the youth brainstorming ideas on what culture and language means to them and thinking about how their old people lived many years ago, these young ones created these dances that is just so exiting to me to see culture is a living ever evolving vibrant thing not something that is just repeated from the past, don’t get me wrong I understand the value & incredible importance of the old dances but I too see the importance of what is happening down here in Trouwunna/Tasmania I haven’t seen anything like what is happening here is so dynamic and alive, I feel blessed to witness these times.
The weather was perfect lovely and hot finally so I sat in the sun all day and I was enjoying the warmth in my bones so much I didn’t realize I was getting about as cooked as the mutton birds a, burnt to a crisp owwwch but it was so nice……. 🙂
I didn’t take picture of the actual festival I’m sure you will have no problem looking them up on the net I just wanted to share a bit about this special day.
On the foraging food side of things from this east coastal area I collected native cherries (Exocarpos cupressiformis) native blue berries (Billardiera sp.) and the fattest healthiest samphire (Sarcocornia sp.) I have ever seen.
The native blue berries in my personal experience if you haven’t had them aren’t the nicest of all bush foods which is a broad statement because there are about 25 species but here in Trouwunna there are 6 native ones and 1 introduced species and I haven’t tried them all, I don’t know the species of this in my pictures I really need to see the flowers to get a better idea of exact species with these but anyway back to their taste if you de-seed them and mix them with the native cherries which are about at the same time obviously they are more enjoyable, I munch on a few cherries then a blue berry then more cherries ect ect.
Well I hope you enjoy this post I’m feeling much happier now as I have been struggling a bit with this cold weather and all my aches and pains coming flooding back that I haven’t felt for 5 months or so but having been welcomed back to land & meeting up with old friends & new mob makes a world of difference to me, Nayri Niara 🙂