Mankotbe (Bush Onion)
Screen printed fabric from the talented artists at Babbarra designs, Maningrida, NT. 'Bush Onion' Design by Lennie Goya- Airra on 100% Cotton.
200 x 140cm
"Mankotbe (bush onion) grows under the ground, we follow the vine to dig it up. It is brown on the outside and white inside and we cook it on the fire, just like a potato. All the old people used to eat Mankotbe on my homeland. My grandmother showed me how to find that plant and the first time I ate so much my mouth got sore! You can’t be too greedy.
This design brings back good memories for me. I used to eat Mankotbe when I was young and living at my homeland Buluhkaduru. In those old times, my house was made of paper bark and sticks. If we wanted to come into town we had to walk, and it’s a long walk, so we would fill our dilly bags with sugar bag honey, Mankotbe and long yams to eat on the way. They were good times for me.
You can find Mankotbe any time of the year- the plant has big black leaves. When you find one onion, you know there is big mob around- they are always connected by a big long vine underground"