Beerfarm Native Series - Woolya Wah Red Ale Graphic

Native #7

For the Native Series #7 Yoda set up a partnership with the Noongar Land Enterprise Group (NLE) who actively promote Noongar land-based enterprises, and Roelands Mission, who through their charity Woolkabunning Kiaka Aboriginal Corporation (WKAC) is looking to create a positive place of healing and development for the children of the mission and their families.

We would like to share our sincere thanks to Roelands Village Farm and the Noongar Land Enterprise Group for providing the wattleseed and sharing their kaartdijin with us as part of this project. Artwork on the front of this can by local Noongar artist Korrine Bennell-Yarran from Karrak Designs.

Find out more about the beer

 

Roelands Village

Roelands Village sits on 500 acres of land boarded by the Collie River. The rich soils have been famous for generations for producing some of the most flavoursome fruit in WA. In 2013 Roelands planted its first Acacia Wattleseed trees and in 2020 we used this seed to flavour this beer. Roelands Village, previously Roelands Mission, was home to over 500 stolen generation children. Today it is about creating an area where culture can be rediscovered and opportunities can begin to grow.
For more information go to roelandsvillage.com.au

A visit to Roelands Village

Woolya Wah Acacia Cyclops photoImage courtesy of the Queensland Government - Photo Bruce Maslin

Distribution of Woolya Wah

Also known as Acacia Cyclops, this species is found in sandy and limestone soils along the coast from Eneabba to the Great Australian Bight where it extends into South Australia.
Its scientific name, Acacia Cyclops, refers to the mythical one-eyed giant Greek legend ‘Cyclops’. The unusual appearance of the seed is the reason behind the name.

Acacia Cyclops Occurence Map. Occurence map generated via Atlas of Living Australia (www.ala.org.au)

Cultural Significance and uses of Woolya Wah

from information provided by the "Plants and People in Mooro Country - Nyungar Plant Use in Yellagonga Regional Park"

For Noongar people, wattles are extremely important plants. Wattle seeds for example, are a very good source of fats, protein and carbohydrates. The Woolya Wah (Acacia Cyclops) and the Wattah (Acacia Decurrens) both have edible seeds. The seeds can be ground into a flour and baked into damper. The Woolya Wah or Wilyawa is native to Western Australia and as well as using the seeds for making damper, the green seed pods are used for a variety of purposes.

For instance, a pod can be crushed in the hands to release a sticky juice which, when a little water is added, can be used as a creamy sunscreen and an insect repellent. This cream is also used to treat eczema. If a little more water is added, the pods can be rubbed between the hands and used as a soap or cleanser. Elsewhere in Australia, similar wattles have been called ‘Soap Wattles’.

The Wilyawa is also an important source of gum. The gum that exudes from the trunk is edible and can be chewed like chewing gum. Other wattle species also produce edible gums that can be sucked. These gums can act as a purgative and are used by Noongar people to alleviate constipation. Wattle gum can also be soaked in water to create a glue.

Many wattle species, including the Woolya Wah, are home to grubs, sometimes known as Bardi Grubs or Witchetty Grubs. When these grubs are found in rotting wattle trees, they are roasted over hot coals or in hot ashes before eating. Many early explorers, such as George Grey and Edward John Eyre, noted that grubs were harvested from both wattle trees and Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea preissii). Those from wattle trees are larger but not as plentiful as those from Grass Trees.

The wood of many species of wattle around Australia is also extensively used by Aborigines. Noongar people use Acacia wood for making spear heads, kitjs (spears), wannas (digging sticks) and shields. Wattle tree-trunks can also be used as poles for constructing mia-mias (shelters), as they grow straight and are light to carry. 

Wattle bark is also important for tying items together. The bark can be stripped off the tree easily and then oiled with kangaroo fat or goanna oil to make it pliable. Many species of wattle are also known to have highly astringent bark. According to the author Jennifer Hagger, the early colonists used Acacia bark to make decoctions or infusions to treat ailments such as diarrhoea and eye conditions.