Rub a dub grub


Every Sunday, 30 people of Merbein, Victoria, go out into the bush along the Murray River and go “native.” After a picnic lunch of grilled steak or chops, they pick up their tomahawks and pieces of wire and go hunting in true aboriginal style,

The object of the hunt is to find witchetty grubs, a “bardie” cherished by aborigines. The grub, which is three inches long, lives in red gum trees along the river.

These pictures were taken during one of the “Oaks” days, in which the men take their wives on the hunt. Every fourth Sunday is Ladies’ Day. A hunting party sets out in typical witchetty country. All the men are experts and are able to read the signs which lead to the grubs.

The grub is drawn out with wire after a cut has been made in the tree with a tomahawk to find the bore of the grub.

Here Shirley and Lois Lattin watch expert Mr. F. McDonald at work on a grub.

Usually the grubs are cooked, but Mr. McDonald eats a raw witchetty grub with all the relish of an epicure.

Below: Hunters J. Lapthorn, A. McKelvie and A. Buchonecker compare their catches after a successful draw.

Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), Thursday 6 January 1949, page 38


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