Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Aboriginal mythology of Lake Eyre 

The formation of Lake Eyre is connected to the travels of the a Dreamtime being in the form of a kangaroo in Tjupurpa. The Dreaming path across the desert areas taken by the kangaroo is considered very important by the Arabana tribe. Most of the songs relating the exploits of the kangaroo are sacred, secret, 'men's business', not allowed to be told to the uninitiated or women. The story of Wikunda is not included among the secret stories so can be told.

Wikunda hunting the kangaroo that became Lake Eyre

An old woman was hunting and saw a huge kangaroo in the distance. Wilkuda, a young boy jumped out of her belly and chased the kangaroo to the west. When his spear finally struck it he thought it was dead and put it on his fire and went to sleep. When he awoke the kangaroo had gone. Wilkuda tracked the kangaroo for many days. As he travelled, his path crossed that of an old man with his dog. The kangaroo was finally killed with the help of the dog and Wilkuda gave the old man the meat for he only wanted the skin. Wilkuda took the skin back to the east and, east of Anna Creek, he threw the skin down. The skin then changed, becoming Lake Eyre. Wilkuda can still be seen as a boulder on the shore of the lake he made.

Sources & Further reading

Australian Dreaming: 40,000 Years of Aboriginal History, Ed. Jennifer Isaacs, New Holland Publishers


Exchange routs near Lake Eyre


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 02/10/2013
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