Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young.’ of 1890.

(A typical Victorian explorer’s and writer’s supercilious take on natives living in their own country.)


‘The Nardoo is a plant that belongs to Australia..As it yields food supplies to the natives of the Darling and other districts where it is found, it is regarded as valuable. The natives are amongst the least civilised of human beings, and it is interesting to note that they use stone for grinding the nardoo seeds into flour, just as the remote ancestors of the British folk used hand-stones to grind their corn. The nardoo hand-stones are called wallong, by the natives. They are round or oval and of various sizes, the largest being 6 inches in length, 41/2 broad, and 3 inches thick. They have hollows cut in them to enable the hand to grasp them more easily. In grinding grass or seeds a little water is sprinkled by the left hand, while the stone in the right hand grinds the seeds until they form a sort of gruel which runs off the sandstone slab by a channel into a piece of bark, or a wooden bowl. The mess is then baked in ashes, or eaten as it is, the native using his crooked forefinger as a spoon.’