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No. 767. 'Study of the Bunya-Bunya' Featured Landscapes Image

No. 767. 'Study of the Bunya-Bunya'

Oil on board, no date. 'Study of the Bunya-Bunya. This noble Conifer, Araucaria Bidwillii, Hook., is perhaps the most valuable food-tree indigenous in Australia, and only grows on one semi-circle of hills, within 100 miles in stretch, between the Brisbane and Burnett rivers, Queensland. The larger of the older trees are nearly 200 feet high, with a circumference of trunk of about twenty-five feet; and the horizontal markings on the pillar-like trunks make them very conspicuous amongst other trees. But what is most remarkable about these trees is that they are the only hereditary property any of the aborigines are known to possess. Each tribe has its own group of trees, and each family a certain tree or trees; and any interference with these rights leads to a bloody fight. The larger cones are a foot long and nine inches in diameter; and they are full of edible nuts (seeds) as large as chestnuts. Every third year there is an extra large crop, when the natives assemble from all parts to collect it. By an act of the Colonial Government the Bunya-Bunya is strictly preserved for the use and sustenance of the aborigines. Look at 713, 771, 773'. [Entry from the 'Official Guide to the North Gallery'. Fifth Edition, 1892]

© RBG KEW