Manggalili story


The Mangalili song lines are rich and varied. They begin with the Guwak (Koel Cuckoo) setting off from Doyndji, a Ritharrngu homeland far inland, to travel to Djarrakpi in the east, on Blue Mud Bay. Guwak travelled with Marrngu (Possum) and Wurrpan (Emu). Each night on the journey Guwak would rest on top of the Ganyawu tree and feast on its fruits, while Marrngu feasted on Mundutj. Guwak instructed Marrngu to spin his fur into lengths of string that could be used by Yolngu to make various ceremonial objects. Emu provided water, wherever he scratched the ground water would appear. As they travelled the features of the land were created, they eventually arrived at Djarrakpi. Nyapalingu was already there at Djarrakpi, she followed Marrngu’s example and made string, as well as naming plants and animals. The story continues in different directions telling about mortuary processes, the Guwak men becoming the milky way, the Ngoykal (Kingfish) throwing itself on the sand, and the Gunyan (crabs) playing in the sand.

212c | Cat. no: 19-166