Joomoo Tree by Rowena Mouda

I drew the seeds and the flowers of the bauhinia tree - Joomoo tree in Bardi language. I drew it because it was in season at the time; it was flowering and fruiting. I like the Joomoo tree because of the many significances and uses it has. We can use the wood to burn; it's good wood for cooking food on. We also suck the honey that comes from the flower pods - the birds also love it. There’s a long cup in the little flower pod where the honey sits. We just get it and suck the honey out. It’s light - not thick honey. Very sweet.

There’s soft sweet gum that also grows on that tree. The gum has its own taste: not sweet, not sour. We didn't have access to the shop growing up, so we’d go and eat all sorts of bush fruits. So the Joomoo tree is actually a food resource for us!

It’s always got the beautiful leaves on it - it doesn't lose its leaves that much - so it’s always a shady tree. But if the leaves do drop, it’s good soil for growing other plants under it. So that’s the other thing about it. I’m a keen gardener, and when I lived in Ardyaloon, we had a big Joomoo tree at our house that I did all my gardening under. It’s got good shade, and good native soil that I could use. It’s so moist from the tree.

There are colours naturally on the Joomoo tree- a black, rough trunk, then the long brown seed pods, the green of the leaves - not a high pitched green, but not too dull - and then the red flowers. The Joomoo tree is not just a tree, it has many uses. That’s just like people! There’s many parts of us that do different things. This tree is like that too.

The Joomoo tree is not just a tree, it has many uses. That’s just like people! There’s many parts of us that do different things. This tree is like that too.”

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