19 March 2017
Josephine Stone at the ochre pits Central Australia. Ochre Pits in the West MacDonnell Ranges in Northern Territory. The Ochre Pits are 11 km west of Serpentine Gorge. This is an area where the Aboriginals mined ochres for their ceremonies, but also for trading with other groups. Ochre has always been an important part of Aboriginal culture and a vital part of everyday life. For medicinal purposes, red ochre can be mixed with grease and applied as an ointment and to relieve decongestion when mixed with eucalyptus leaves. White ochre was used as a magical charm, when mixed with water and blown from the mouth it is believed to abate the heat of the sun or the force of the wind. Weapons were painted with ochre to increase the success of hunting. It also protected the wooden weapons from termites.