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Gloria Petyarre on growing up with bush medicine

by Utopia Lane Art July 27, 2019

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

Utopia Lane Art
Utopia Lane Art


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