| Home | | Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola wordlist | | Pakanh wordlist | | Fauna | | Flora | | Material culture |

sandpaper fig, Ficus scobina and F. opposita

urrgum (uk -/egng -)
uyi (ug -/egng -)
ebobmal or ewobmal (ug -/egng -)
in Uw Oykangand
in Uw Olkola
in Uw Ilbmbanhdhiy

Sandpaper fig, Ficus opposita

The sandpaper fig, Ficus scobina and F. opposita (family Moraceae), is a small tree or shrub common with broad, bristly leaves. It has fruit that turns black when ripe. F. scobina has smooth or fibrous grey bark and F. opposita has darker bark that is rough and deeply fissured.

F. scobina is common in coastal vine thickets and the scrub around permanent rivers in the lowland gulf country. Therefore it is more common on Uw Oykangand land. F. opposita is found in open forest and woodland and is found on both Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola land.

The leaves of this tree are used as sandpaper. Both sides of the leaves of this tree is very rough and can be rubbed on wood to smooth it down. This is very important in traditional industry. It is used to sand wood for implements such as woomeras, resin pallets, boomerangs, yamsticks and spear rods. See the Plant usage page for more information on the uses of plant products in traditional industry.

This tree produces edible fruit. For more information on plant food and the traditional subsistence of Aboriginal people in central Cape York Peninsula, see the Edible plant products page.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.