How Aboriginal stories of fire may have shaped contemporary burning practices in Australia.
Aboriginal stories depict fire in a variety of ways - for warmth, cooking and for wreaking vengeance. Across the different language groups, that once existed in Australia, fire is also created in numerous ways and appears to be highly valued. Some stories describe burning of the landscape, for example, Willy Wagtail who wanted Owl's fire, stole it and set fire to Owl's hunting grounds because Owl wouldn't share his fire. The geographic locations of Aboriginal burning of the landscape, through their stories, are used to examine contemporary burning practices in the same regions to consider how Aboriginal practices may have informed contemporary ones.
Keywords: Aboriginal, Australia, fire, stories, burning
Dr Sonia Tidemann
A/Head, Academic & Research Division, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education