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Gloria Petyarre on growing up with bush medicine

July 27, 2019 1 min read

Below is an extract of an interview with Gloria Petyarre on 18 July 2006 where she talks about bush medicine. Interviewed by Dale Jennings. 

A rare and insightful talk with this award winning and enigmatic artist.

 

Dale: Did anyone teach you about the bush medicine, that alpeyt?

Gloria: Mum. Long time. Mum was taking them kangaroo fat and echidna fat. We been mixing them up.

Dale: What did you do with the alpeyt? Crush it?

Gloria: Mm, yew and do this. [gestures over her face and head]

Dale: So was it bush medicine?

Gloria: We didn’t grow up with lollies, soft drink, nothing. We grow up with bush tucker.  Ntang seed and ntyerrm, corkwood and rock [muffled]. And yam and sugarbag. Kangaroo, Emu, Turkey, Goanna, Echidna. We been living with that one. 

Dale: Back to this alpeyt, bush medicine.

Gloria: Yew yew, alpeyt.

Dale: Why do you put it on your hair?

Gloria: Make it smell, for colds.

Dale: I got it, kind of like Vicks, where you put it on your chest for the smell?

Gloria: Yeah like Vicks. Yeah!

Portrait of Gloria Petyarre


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