Bush Tucker and Bush Medicine
around Coober Pedy
Acacia tetragonaphylla Dead Finish
Kurara - Dead Finish
Kurara or Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonaphylla)is a distinctive shrub with small four sided needle-like phyllodes (leaves) and yellow spherical flower heads. It is common and widespread in breakaway and sandhill country of the arid zone. Dead Finish has gnarled and twisted wood, and grows to three metres. Like the Mulga, Kurara is a very useful plant, and due to it being common in the area, is also an important plant in Antakarinja culture.
The bark from the roots of this plant has healing qualities. It is used as a bandage to bind broken limbs, with the straight roots as splints, repairing the bone quickly. The healing of minor cuts and sores can be encouraged by the application of a liquid made by boiling this bark in water. A medicine to treat coughs is also made by soaking the roots and bark.
Kurara also provides an excellent method of removing unwanted warts. Dry phyllodes from the ground beneath the plant are collected and stuck into all sides and the top of the wart. The ends are broken off and the tips are left in for two to three days, by which time the wart should have died and dropped off.
Dead Finish also provides some important bush tucker. The seeds can be cooked in the pod when still green, or when ripe, parched on hot sand and ashes, yandyed, and ground to form an edible paste.
Grubs that can be found in the roots of this plant also provide a tasty meal. Finches, nesting in the protective foliage of Kurara, are eaten, while droppings from abandoned nests have important medicinal properties.
The hard, fine-grained wood of Dead Finish also makes good artefacts and tools.