Cool Drink and Culture: Ininti seed
Young women speak about how the old people used to show them bush tucker, dances, and how to make necklaces with ininti seeds. The young women talk about how the children now do not know about bush tucker, and they have taken on the responsibility of showing them how to prepare bush tucker. The women also speak of eating bush tucker to stay healthy. Summary by Romaine Moreton.
The young women (Kunga) speak with a sense of pride and responsibility about the ways passed on to them by the old people. There is a strong focus on making sure these same skills are passed on to the younger children in order for them to live a healthy and balanced life.
Cool Drink and Culture synopsis
A documentary that features young Indigenous women speaking about the effects of unhealthy food upon the children.
Cool Drink and Culture is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours’ in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.
Cool Drink and Culture curator's notes
The interesting thing about Cool Drink and Culture is that the subjects speaking about the need for a healthy lifestyle – that includes plenty of bush tucker, the passing on of skills on how to hunt and prepare it to the younger generations – are quite young themselves. What the young women speak about is usually presented through elders, but the dynamic here is that young women are taking on this role in their community. Cool Drink and Culture is an empowering film for young Indigenous women, who have a clear understanding of what is needed if the children are to live a life with minimal sickness and maximum health.
Notes by Romaine Moreton
This clip shows a young Indigenous woman, Janelle Eggley, describing the tradition of teaching that she experienced as a child. She explains in Luritja how the older members of the community took her and other children to a particular waterhole to teach them about culture and survival. She and other women take young children to a waterhole where they light a fire and prepare bush food. She explains that teaching children traditional ways of finding and preparing food is important for their health. The clip includes subtitles and Indigenous band music.
Educational value points
- The clip reveals the strength and determination of Janelle Eggley and other young women of the Amunturrngu community in the Northern Territory to pass on their knowledge of bush tucker to the community’s children. Eggley, who is 20 years old in the clip, acknowledges the debt she owes to older women for their teaching, and says she feels that the responsibility to pass on knowledge about traditional foods now rests with her generation.
- In the clip, Eggley talks about some of the diverse food available in the Australian bush, including seasonal berries, fruits, vegetables, insects and animals. Local knowledge of foods, the best time to harvest them and how to prepare them is passed down by example and explanation from older people.
- The six young women interviewed in Cool Drink and Culture (2002) are members of the Amunturrngu community, 325 km west of Alice Springs by road. Established in 1978, originally as an outstation of Papunya, Amunturrngu has grown to be a community of more than 200 people. It maintains strong cultural traditions, several languages and is a centre for ceremonial functions.
- The clip gives a voice to young Indigenous women from remote communities in a language – Luritja – rarely heard outside its communities. Cool Drink and Culture is one of the documentaries made for the Nganampa Anwernekenhe television series, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Indigenous languages and cultures. In the documentaries people speak in their own languages and their voices shape the films.
- This clip is an example of the work of Indigenous director and writer Sonja Dare. In 2007 she wrote and directed the short film Destiny in Alice, a satirical look at the lives of three Indigenous lesbians in Alice Springs that explores relationships between women across racial and cultural divides.
- Cool Drink and Culture was produced by CAAMA Productions. Owned and run by Indigenous Australians and dedicated to the social, cultural and economic advancement of Aboriginal peoples, CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) has played a significant role in the development of Australian filmmaking. Over 25 years CAAMA has produced many Indigenous filmmakers and in 2005 it won the Stanley Hawes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Documentary.
Education notes provided by The Learning Federation and Education Services Australia
This clip starts approximately 6 minutes into the documentary.
This clip shows a young Indigenous woman, Janelle Eggley, describing the tradition of teaching that she experienced as a child. She explains in Luritja how the older members of the community took her and other children to a particular waterhole to teach them about culture and survival. She and other women take young children to a waterhole where they light a fire and prepare bush food. She explains that teaching children traditional ways of finding and preparing food is important for their health. The clip uses subtitles and Indigenous band music.
Janelle Along time ago when we were young the old people used to take us to Irantji for womens dancing. They taught us how to dance out there. Taught and showed us bush tucker, when we were little. They also taught us how to make neckalaces with Ininti seeds.
The scene cuts to a four wheel drive car driving through the desert towards a waterhole. Indigenous band music plays. Two women and a child sit in the back seat.
Janelle All the girls went to Irantji waterhole and cooked some kangaroo tails.
At the waterhole we see women and children cooking kangaroo tails.
Janelle A long time ago when there was no shop the old ladies used to take us out for bush tucker but them young ones now, they don’t know bush tucker. We have to show the kids bush tucker, like blackberries, bush banana and bush berries and give them to the kids to eat. Sometimes takeaway food from the shop has got too much sugar and too much fat. This is why the kids end up in hospital, sick. All the kids have to learn to look around in the bush for bush tucker because bush tucker keeps you healthy.