Showing posts from July, 2018

Pandanus at Kakadu National Park

While we were travelling near and through Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, an inescapable part of much of the landscape was the pandanus palms, which grew in enormous groves in various places throughout the park, as demonstrated by this blurry photo taken from a moving bus:

The pandanus palms fascinated me, not because of their attractiveness in situ, but because the Aboriginal women could take the leaves, strip them down and make dilly bags for carrying food and beautiful woven craft items.  Here is an example of a dilly bag on display at the Bowali Visitor Centre:

This is all the more surprising because the pandanus palm leaves are very tough and spiky on three sides, so it is no mean feat to reduce them into a weavable fibre:

As well as using the fibres to make dilly bags (and colourful crafts for tourists like me), the Aborigines used the pandanus palm for medicine, and they ate the pandanus fruit and seeds.  Here are some bright orange cones which grow in clusters to …