Kimberley Style Fishing


Jack Jnr Macale Loodgebuddunge

Most of us young men are taught how to hunt at a young age up in the Northwest part of the Kimberleys. As soon as we start crawling our teaching begins, not only how to hunt but how to live off the land. Learning the best seasons to hunt particular animals and when the best time is. 

There are different ways of teaching how to hunt off the land, the river, and the ocean.

My uncle showed me at a young age a particular way of fishing which is my favourite way. He said first you try and find a waterhole or a small pool, which have the mangrove trees that we call Martjartla.  

Once you find the Martjartla you peel the bark from it, crush it up in the water, then you will see a red bubbly substance coming out of it.  It’s not poison, it’s actually a substance that takes the oxygen out of the water.  

About thirty minutes later the fish will be seen gasping for air making them easy to scoop up or spear.  This method was used before white man came along with hooks and nets. 

Most people know when you come from the ocean theres a specific way to catch fish.

There is still some traditional evidence left from the people who lived near the ocean, who have created fish traps and that method was always used there.  

The leaves you see in this painting come from the Martjartla.