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Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Songs, stories, photos & video recordings – Warraber & Poruma Rangers to select what
content they would like included into the website and source from TEK system.

  • Aunty Viti’s story from Plan of Management – page 19
  • Story of how families moved from Poruma to Warraber
  • Biniw Maza (song name)
  • Description: how the people from Poruma travel to Warraber to collect water, travelling past an island called bini (Vini Islet) which marks the half way between the two sisters islands of Poruma and Warraber.
  • Recording of Traditional Owners from 2019 vessel survey

Viti's Story

Viti’s Story When I was young my dad would tell us to go to Dove Island (Uttu) to dive for trochus (karbar). So we would dive from the other end of Dove to the other end. We also made gardens there – me, my Aunty Lillah and my mum. We would grow sweet potatoes (kumala).

We dove for trochus shell when the tide went down. We would go by wooden dinghy with four paddles. One person would sit at the front of the dinghy paddles, and other two people would sit at the middle paddles. We would start paddling when the sea was calm and the tide high, and by the time got to Uttu the tide would be low and we were ready to dive for trochus. When the tide came up as we were in the water we would feel the water get cold that would tell us that we have to get back to the dinghy and time to come back to the island. Took us about two and a half hours to travel back and forth.

Our wooden dinghy was named after me – ‘Viti Florence’. It is special for me and my family because the dinghy took us to dive for trochus to get money, and also to make gardens on Uttu to feed our family. We would take the trochus shells, clean the meat out of the shell, pack the shells in hessian bags and send it away to Thursday Island on the cargo boat. And when the trochus shells got shifted from Thursday Island to Cairns, we would get paid.

Our gardens are important for us. If our gardens are over farmed here at Poruma we go over to Uttu to plant sweet potatoes in our gardens. We plant at the western side of Uttu. The soil is very rich and we always plant big gardens of sweet potato. Sometimes people from Papua New Guinea come over to dig and harvest our gardens. By the time we get to Uttu to harvest our gardens other people have already dug up our gardens.

- Viti Florence Pearson (February, 2018)