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Emu and Quandong Dreaming


Aboriginal culture locates ‘Dreamtime’ as the beginning of all knowledge, from which came the laws of existence. All activities and ways of life- ritual, ceremony and duty relate to this ‘Dreamtime’. Knowledge concerning this beginning of time is sacred and passed down from one generation to the next via ceremony, stories, dance and imagery. Throughout Australia’s Aboriginal community there are numerous dreamings which relate and incorporate our native Emu bird. Despite the Emu’s role varying from major to minor characters his continual presence infers his importance within these Aboriginal Dreamings [stories].


The Quandong fruit grows naturally in the many of Australia’s outback areas, including the Central Desert region. This unique plant not only gathers nutrients from the rich soils but being a non-obligate root parasite, it gathers additional nutrients from the root systems of neighboring plants. The Quandong fruit specific to the Central Desert is red, almost plum like and is very high in nutrients and proteins. This natural fruit is both sweet and is a particular favorite of the Emu.


Emu and Quandong Dreaming relates to how all elements inter-relate and are co-dependant to keeping universal balance and order. The Emu eats the nutritious and deliciously sweet Quandong fruit, in which the small seeds become entrapped within the Emu’s feet and beak. The Emu meanders around the country-side and the Quandong seeds are re-dispersed, allowing the seeds to germinate, flourish and regenerate the land. Thus, while the Emu relies on the Quandong fruit for nutrients and survival, so too does the Quandong Fruit rely on the Emu for re-dispersement and continuity.


Aboriginal people are the custodians of the land, its balance and its protection. Emu Dreamings tell of moral and universal behavior laws, consequences and their inter-relationships in which all things are balanced.