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Bush Plum (Ahakeye)


Ahakeye (Bush Plum) Dreaming
Country: Ilkawerne 

Also known as the native currant or citrus, the Ahakeye is favoured by Aboriginal people for its sweet taste and, as it can be reconstituted in water when dry, it is an invaluable desert food. It belongs to the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3m high and is found across Utopia. This shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the fruit (ahakeye) which are black when ripe and very small. 

This Dreaming is more commonly the subject of men's paintings from Ilkawerne country who use traditional symbols and colours to depict elements of the story that is passed down generation to generation. Often white dots represent the white flower, U shapes represent men collecting the fruit, parallel lines represent travelling lines to and from the tree and, sometimes, black animal tracks such as the wild pigeon can be seen - walking all over the fallen fruit. It is not uncommon for other associated Dreaming stories or sacred sites to be featured in the same painting, for example the Arekwarr (Wild Pigeon) Dreaming or Aremela Rockhole.