National Geographic : 2013 Jun
First Australians 67 bark and on hollow logs, using a brush made from her own hair. I asked Batumbil if I could stay in Matamata for a couple of weeks and said I’d pay for room and board. Permission granted. Was there any- thing, I wondered, that I could bring? “Dinner for 25,” she said. I chartered a Cessna from one of the nearest towns, and the pilot flew low over the bush, the trees thin and straight and widely spaced, like a bad hair transplant, until we reached a large rectangular clearing with a handful of boxcar- shaped houses on one side, and the pilot set the plane down. Batumbil was sitting beneath an old mango tree, knitting a handbag out of natu- ral fibers, surrounded by her five dogs. She was wearing a black tank top, a vibrant purple sarong, plastic-framed reading glasses, and red nail pol- ish. Her hair, a ruckus of springy black curls, was corralled atop her head with a yellow ribbon. I unloaded two duffels of personal effects and a dozen bags of groceries. Dinner for 25, I mentioned, is quite a load. Batumbil nodded. Take a look at all that food, she said. Could you imagine catching that much in one day using The Yolngu eat every edible bit of the green sea turtle, from organs to yellow connective tissue. Michael Finkel acquired a real taste for sea turtle during his reporting. Amy Toensing spent more than three years documenting Aboriginal communities.