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Pandanus Palms and She-Oaks

Pandanus Palms and She-Oaks are striking and typical plants of the Outback and the Far North and to this day they are both very important to Aboriginal people. The trees provide them with food and they also make for very handy hunting tools. A Pandanus is a palm with nut type fruits of which the seeds are eaten either raw or cooked. The leaves of the plant are used to make baskets to carry food or they are being put on the tops of “humpies” (basic housing) as they make impermeable roofs. The She-Oaks (a type of Casuarina tree) on the other hand are be used in a variety of areas, such as spear making or as a slow burning firewood. Aboriginals shave the inner bark and sapwood and soak them in water; the liquid is then used to cure tooth aches. Young she-oak cones are often used to stimulate saliva in dry mouths during long big distance walks – it’s almost the Aboriginal version of chewing gum!