C LOA K E D I D E N T I T Y: M E L L A J A A R S M A’ S THE HEALER, THE FEEDER, THE WARRIOR – TAASA Review September 2022
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This article was originally found in the September 2022 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 31, Issue 3, Page 19).
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Elly Kent T he steam washed up towards my nostrils, filtered through the desiccated seahorses that hung across my face.
A sweet and dank scent wafted from a wok perched on a gas burner into which the ends of my carefully stitched costume dangled.
Dried fungis, roots, barks, seadragons and seahorses— all ingredients in Chinese and Javanese traditional medicines (jamu)—hung from my head to my knees, where the warmth of the gas flame and bubbling wok offered some reprieve against the cold Canberra night air...