This artwork depicts leaves of the Kurrajong tree which is used for bush medicine. Bush Medicine is Australian Aboriginal people’s traditional practice. It was believed that evil spirits caused any illness without an obvious explanation and these would be treated by the tribe’s medicine man who specialized in spiritual cures.
Women from the Anmatyerre region gather the leaves to be used in traditional bush medicines. The leaves are boiled and mashed with animal fats (emu or kangaroo) making a medicinal poultice or paste which can last for many months. The paste is then applied to the skin to heal a multitude of afflictions such as bites, wounds, skin infections, rashes, skin cancer and the like. The leaves are also steeped in hot water to make an infusion, or healing tea.
The leaves of the Kurrajong, or Kurrawong tree feature in paintings which first came to the world’s attention when Gloria...
aboriginalfemale artistleavesacrylic on canvas