male and female flowers enclosed in the same fig
globular white figs, becoming purple to black when fully ripe, to 15 millimetres in width grows in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands and jungles, often near water; occurs across north Australia, and is widespread in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
Yindi dhuwalany dharpa dhäwu’mirr ga maḏayin’, dharpa dhuwalany rripipi mokuywu dhanbulwa. Borumtja dhipuŋur dharpaŋur yumurrku yurr gurrŋan’mirr ŋunhi ŋayi dhuwal borumthirrny yurr, balanyar bili bitjan djiṉpu yurr yutjuwaḻan.
Wiripuny ŋanapurr yurr marram maniŋunya dhipuŋur dharpaŋur rakiwnha djämaw. Dhiyaŋ rakiy ŋanapurr yurr djäma bathi, wäyuk, ga wiripu malanynha maḏayin. Warrawny’ ŋayi dhuwal dharpa bukmakkun yolŋuy dhinanharaw, warumuknha giṯthunamiriwnha.
"Ḏawu is a Dhuwa tree. Also known as rripipi. A big one. A haven for animals and birds, and Yolŋu songs and belief hold that this is the tree for Dhuwa spirits. But whoever is born at Yirrkala is known as Dhanbul, whether they are Yirritja or Dhuwa, and this tree is for them. Dhanbul spirits live within this tree. In its branches and in its crevices. These spirits give us the waṉa (arms) or aerial roots which are used to make dillybags and armbands for sacred ceremonies.
My father, Roy Marika, and I planted a banyan tree at the school in the seventies. It is in the centre of the school. Whenever the fruit ripens from green to white to purple and then finally black, the birds and the kids attack it and eat it straight away. Like the Dhanbul spirits they are, the children play under the ḏawu all day.
In the early 1970s my grandfather, Munggurrawuy Yunupingu, stood against the bulldozers alone, armed only with an axe, to stop the mining company Nabalco destroying the ancient ḏawu known as the Tree of Knowledge. It still survives, covered in bauxite dust, surrounded by a chain link fence within the refinery."