Martu life revolves around hunting and fire, Douglas Bird explained. Martu inherit ritual duties that correspond to certain tracts of desert called "estates." An important part of this inheritance is the knowledge of when and where to light smoldering brush fires. Martu never start blazes without knowing every nook and cranny of a territory and often forgo campfires when traveling through foreign estates, he said.
"You never burn unless you're with someone who has all of that knowledge about that estate," he added. "If your fire were to threaten one of those totemic spots where they keep all their religious paraphernalia associated with these rituals, it's technically punishable by death."
Whoa! Message received. Even if you know how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, you want to take a consult before you actually do it.