Yesterday, I got to go out kangaroo hunting with some locals out in Mt. Margaret (about 35 km or so west of Laverton). For my photo essay on Aboriginal diabetes, I want to show the traditional (and healthier) food sources. Winston, Bradley, and Shane Stokes were my generous hosts and I am very thankful they let me ride along with them.
When I think about it, I realize I haven’t ever been hunting or seen anybody hunt in person until yesterday. This is surprising given that I grew up in Missouri and went to school in Texas. I have shot plenty of guns meant for hunting, but never at any animals. Although I was shooting pictures (and not kangaroos), it was quite an experience going on a hunting trip for the first time. For once, I followed my food from living, breathing animal to my plate– not something you usually get to do. I also ended up with a little more kangaroo blood on my pants than I had orginally planned going into this, but that is all part of the fun.
When the day was done, we came back with 9 Kangaroos, 1 Emu, and 2 Goannas (giant lizards). Because there is a funeral in town this weekend, they needed to get a lot of meat to feed everyone. When we got back, a couple of kangaroos, the emu, and Goannas were gutted and then cooked the traditional way– buried in the ground with hot coals. The remaining kangaroos were skinned and saved for later or given out to other members in the community. Family slowly started showing up throughout the afternoon and the meat they cooked fed probably 30 or more people.
I tried a little bit of everything but my favorite was definitely the Goanna tail. Just peel back the scaly skin and it tastes exactly like chicken (no really, it does).
Again, I have to thank the Stokes family for letting me hang out with them all day, inviting me to their big family event, and then letting me photograph everything. It was a good time and I got to see some beautiful country that I would otherwise never see.
I took way too many photos and I am still wading through them. So, I will just post a couple. I also chose to do these pictures in black & white. I am not sure why, but I think I like them better that way. It also takes away the bloody shock value of the photos. But, I still haven’t decided if my end project will be in color or black & white. Thoughts?