Aboriginal Parramatta

Prior to their dispossession and displacement, the Burramatta travelled seasonally across their land in groups of between 30 to 60 people with the Parramatta River (the southerly edge of the Parramatta North Heritage Precinct) being an important source of food, including eel, from which Burramatta (and later Parramatta) are etymologically derived (‘place where the eels lie down’) (Parramatta City Council, 2015). The Burramatta fished mullet, crayfish, shellfish, turtles, eels, shellfish, molluscs and other marine animals with the women usually fishing from canoes while the men speared from the banks of the Parramatta River (Kass et al 1996, p. 7). Terrestrial food sources included possums, fruits and vegetables (such as yams). Other flora, such as Eucalyptus leaves, was used for medicines and trees were used to make shelters, canoes and other implements. Below a scarred tree and a shelter cave.