Tuesday, October 4, 2011

walking through the middens.

Midden sites:

A 'midden' is an occupation site where Aboriginal people left the remains of their meals. At some sites substantial deposits grew over generations of use of the same area, and some middens are a few metres deep.

When Aboriginal people had visited a certain area, they sometimes intentionally left the waste remains of the food they had consumed as the top layer of the midden pile so that the next people to visit could see what had just been harvested and would choose something else to eat so they didn't over-use the resource.
Middens thus represent a blueprint for sustainable harvesting of coastal resources, but are also an archaeological treasure trove.
Oyster and cockle shells are most commonly found in middens, as well as animal bones. Some middens also contain artifacts and tools made from stone, bone or shell. Freshwater mussel shells or crustaceans occur in middens further from the coastal or tidal influence.
Sometimes burials occurred in middens if the surrounding soil was too hard.
Read more: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/land/aboriginal-sites.html#ixzz1Zkg48Pg8

We went to Killarney on the southwest coast of victoria last weekend. It rained and rained the whole time. We where in our little pop top caravan, nice and cosy. In between breaks in the weather we walked down to the beach. This area is full of these Midden sites and Killarney was the meeting place for all the Koori (aboriginal) clans in this area. It was a a feasting place, rich in food source.

I so wish that we conserved our precious life source like this, that we shared a knowledge of sustainable harvesting. That we could have passed on, so that harmony could exist to be healthy and in tune with our own food source. It breaks my heart that we refuse to really look back to see what is important for our life to be sustainable in our mind and our body. That we think its our right to take and take and never put back, who do we think we are?


  1. Who do we think we are? I am studying Natural Resources and Sustainability in school and it's just overwhelming! This is a lovely post Rex. Wonderful time with the family indeed!

  2. I love the wintery, sea photo with the path leading to the ocean. I agree totally with your sentiments regarding sustainable living - I get quite desperate sometimes to live a more sustainable life, I would love to leave the city behind, find a small patch of earth and live a more simple sustainable life.

  3. Something very ancient in our bones connects with the gathering of people sharing food collectively beautiful thoughts

  4. Soulful post; i too love the idea of suitanibility and giving back; like Clare says, i’d love to leave the city behind. I think we are meant to live surrounded by nature...
    i love that first picture so much makes me want to run down that path :)...
    xo sandra