The Bogong Moth is native of Australia, serving an important purpose in Aboriginal culture. A small moth with dull brown wing patterns, it was a major source of food – particularly in colder areas such as the Snowy Mountains.
We’ll use this week’s post to review the symbolism of the bogong moth, tying this back both to Aboriginal culture and common symbolic meanings.
The name ‘bogong’ comes from the now-extinct language of Dhudhuora. In this Aboriginal language, ‘bogong’ translates to ‘bigfella’. Given the modest wingspan of the species (5 centimeters) this has always been a little confusing!
In Victoria, Mount Bogong has been named after the bogong moth, as have a series of peaks in the Kosciusko National Park.
Use in Aboriginal Culture
Bogong moths were considered a viable food source by the Aboriginals, particularly to those of New South Wales’ Southern Highlands where they were in abundance.
The bogong moths were usually caught in groups, due to their tendency to rest upon each other.
Aboriginals cook the moth and mash it into a paste, known commonly as ‘moth meat’. It is believed to have a wholesome, nutty taste, rich in protein and fat.
Stories of the Bogong Moth
A common story in Aboriginal culture tells of it once being covered in a range of vibrant colors, similar to that of a rainbow. However during heavy snowfall it was consumed by snow, and when it managed to escape it had left behind all of its colors. As the snow melted, these vibrant colors turned into spring flowers.
Bogong Moths Symbolize Intuition
The bogong moths have extremely enhanced senses, particularly their hearing. This enhanced, ultra-sonic hearing ensures that they can avoid predators such as the bat, because they are always aware of their presence.
This is believed to symbolize our own intuition. It is important with us to make decisions we believe are right and remove any external pressures.
If you encounter a bogong moth, think about upcoming decisions. They serve as a reminder to always go with your gut!