McLaren Vale & Onkaparinga Blog

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Indigenous Heritage: Discover South Australia’s Aldinga

The Land

Aldinga is a beautiful place known to the Kaurna Miyurna (people) as “Ngaltingga”. Ngaltingga is brimming with history where even today you can walk around and find well-trodden Kaurna walking paths throughout. Whether it’s putting your feet in the sand or walking through the scrublands, you can sense the ancient spirit of the place. Surrounded by hills to southeast and water to the southwest, Ngaltingga sustained Kaurna Miyurna for many thousands of years.

The People

Since the very first sunrise Kaurna Miyurna were and are, still the original owners and custodians of the Adelaide plains region. Today Aldinga is home to approximately 10,000 residents.

The Aldinga Scrub

The Aldinga Scrub is located between Norman Road and Dover Street, at Aldinga Beach. The Aldinga Scrub was prime hunting ground for the Kaurna Miyurna. Witawali, now known as Sellicks Beach just south of the scrub, was well known for its abundant fishing. The cliffs at Sellicks Beach provided a vantage point for the Kaurna Miyurna in spotting schools of fish congregating in the shallows. Even today it is possible to spot schools of salmon from the cliff tops during the winter months. Up to 180 Nantu (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) can be found in the Aldinga scrub. Many years ago these kangaroos were plentiful and hunted by the Kaurna Miyurna as a food source. Kaurna Miyurna lived in semi-permanent dwellings throughout the scrub. They relied on the abundance of food that the area offered such as plants, fruits, berries, smaller species of reptiles, lizards and snakes and marsupials like possums. Bigger animals such as kangaroos and emus were more popular in the winter months due to the abundance of seafood available on the beach in the summer months.

The Washpool

Wangkuntilla, meaning ‘Opossum Place’ to the Kaurna Miyurna. Wangkuntilla was a major workshop site, much used for the curing and drying of animal skins. In the summer months, properties could be collected from the edge of the shrunken washpool to cure the hides. The hides were scraped back with a Kantapi (piece of sharp slate) and sewn together to make cloaks and rugs. The Kaurna Miyurna would trade among themselves and also other neighbouring clans. Nearby the washpool were several freshwater springs known as “pudna” to the Kaurna Miyurna and many campsites. Today the washpool is visibly seen from Norman Road attracting birds from all over South Australia.

 

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