Thousands of years before Great Britain decided to make the land down under a penal colony, the natives of this gorgeous, mysterious land lived and flourished. To them the land was a sacred trust created by the ancients in the Dreamtime.
This is where human and divine coalesced in the mystic streams of the past. For the land was more than dirt, trees, streams, plants, yams and water lilies.
It reminded them daily of their heritage. One special place is Kakadu in the Northern Territory where the Gagudju lived.
According to their creation stories, their land was created by Warramurrungundji, a female deity. After sending her children to the four winds, she rested from her creation and became part of the land.
It’s this merging of the spirit and physical which gives the land its beauty and life. For the people who lived and worshipped here before the Egyptian civilization flourished, it is sad there are so few who remain in their created land.
There are other deities which be read about in the references below. These creation stories, or myths if you prefer, tell of a time when the earth was young.
The rock depictions are drawings of life which has perished from the scene. These drawings tell another story after creation when the deities fought. The rocks tell a story of struggle, a cosmic conflict where humans were drawn into an ancient war originating among the stars.
These ancient stories are probably factual to a large degree. For a people’s history they are the bedrock on which heritage is built and cultivated.
It is when a people forget their past that their future becomes murky like the waters when Ginga, the man-crocodile, plunges into the calmness. The past becomes like twilight shadows, those dark shadows which fade into a moonless night.
Heritage—to be appreciated and to be remembered…
G. D. Williams © 2013
Kakadu National Park
PBS: Kakadu Australia’s Ancient Wilderness