Coolamon/ Piccies Literacies
“Coolamon” is the (Yugambeh) Aboriginal word for a multiple-purpose shallow vessel that carries water or food. It was used as a means of transporting the water or food from the creeks, rivers, and land back to the tribe. A coolamon is created by cutting and separating the outer bark from a large tree, such as white gum, mulga or river red gum. The next step in the process was to mould the bark over the fire to give it its curved edges. The bark was then left outside for a few days so that it wouldn’t lose its shape. The last step would be covering the wood with animal fat to protect and preserve the wood, and to make the wood waterproof (Jaworski, 2022).
At Kids World Gilston we have noticed that a lot of the big palm trees have been dropping their fronds. We have investigated a sustainable way to use these fronds as instruments of play and learning. We soaked the fronds which made them easy to manipulate, then used twine and string to create small baskets and houses that were added into our fairy garden. We acknowledged that this process is like that of the creation of the Cooloman and wished to share it with the children. Through sourcing naturally made resources from Country we can encourage the children to use the environment as a third educator. We are also able to discuss the traditions of the Aboriginal people and place value on their culture and ways of life.
Through this process we wish for the children to feel and see our connectedness to nature and how important it is to respect and care for our land for it provides us with useful resources.
- Miss Zoe