BUTCHULLA (BATJALA) PEOPLE
The original inhabitants of Fraser Island (or K’gari) and the nearby mainland
were the Butchulla people.
A small droup were permanent residents on the Island. During the Winter,
Aboriginal people would flock to Fraser Isdland to feast on the abundance
of food supplied by the Ocean.
The Butchulla people would travel to and from the Mainland by canoes made
of a long single sheet of bark sealed at each end with bees was. The canoes
were also used for fishing and hunting dugong and turtles. A fire would
be lit in the canoes on bed of sand or seaweed, and fish would be cooked
immediately upon being caught. For shelter, the Butchulla people cut strips
of bark about 2,3 metres long into a shield shape and from them formed
a roof, In Winter this was warmed with possum skins and a fire at the
entrance. Sticks werw used to harvest a range of wild yams and bees was.
Bees played an important part in the Butchulla peoples culture, partly
for their was, but also for their honey, being their main source sweetness.
Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) provided a valuable food source for the
Butchulla people, using the base of the leaves as a type of cabbage.
The leaves were eaten either raw or cooked, and the fruit roasted.
Pandanus leaves were used to make baskets and poisonous fruits were
palced in a dilly bay and soaked in running water to wash out any poisons.
A man could not marry a woman of his own clan and children belonged
to the clan the mother.
Cannibalism was practiced, only from those who died in combat or at an
No humans were deliberately killed for food.
The bones of the dead and hung in a dilly bag in the hollow of a
tree, known as a burial tree.