Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Kimberley Snakes - The Kimberley (Rainbow Serpent                                                                                                      

In the Kimberley region there are myths associated with snakes as are found in other parts of northern Australia such as Arnhem Land, where the snakes are connected with water and thunderstorms, and also with the spirits of children and fertility, their images being found on the walls of many caves and rock shelters. In the Kimberley these snakes have a number of names, Ungud, Lu, Lumeri, Lumuru. They may appear as a rainbow or a whirlpool in the sea.

In the Kimberley, the mythology tells of great pythons that travelled from the east to the west, the tracks they made becoming the rivers of the area. On their travels they reached the northwest corner of the Kimberley then travelled south along the coast until the reached the Worora country. The rock python travelled from the east to the sea. The snake took babies with her, and she became very tired and the babies were crying, so she lived in the Mandangary Cave (the Gum of the Kurrajong) on Gibb River Station. She painted herself on the wall of the cave, and after resting, travelled to Manning Creek, where she stayed on the cave wall.

In the most northwesterly part of the Kimberley region the Rainbow Serpent is replaced by the Wandjina.

Wonnaira from the Kimberley

Sources & Further reading

  1. Jennifer Isaacs, Australia Dreaming: 40,000 years of Aboriginal History, New Holland Publishers
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 30/09/2011

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