Songs from the Sky – Australia

[/j/ is pronounced as in German;

substitution of /j./ for /dj/, /c./ for /tj/, /n/ for /ng/, since these are simple phonemes]

locations of tribes




the Cooroong : southeastern part of South Australia


Flinders ranges in South Australia


southwest corner of Western Australia


on the Great Australian bight

Kokoimuj.i (negritoid)

north of Endeavour river in Queensland


Bentinck island in the gulf of Carpentaria


Forsyth island


upper Cape river on Great Australian divide


west of the Great Dividing range


nigh the mouth of the Murray river in South Australia


southeastern part of the Northern Territory


Mann ranges in the Western desert


Warburton ranges in Western Australia


Western desert


Encounter bay


Mornington island


Caledon bay

pp. 360-376 star-myths





Tananekald {cf. TANAN~iKA}

Wane the "Sun woman ... , in ancient times, climbed into the sky where she carried firesticks; but these firesticks did little for people on Earth in keeping them from being cold. ...



Another all-powerful male being still on Earth, named [Nu`re:le], magically forced her to be less vigorous in waving her firesticks; instead of affording much brighter light there was a greater amount of red glow. Thus the people could remain warm."


Naj.uri {cf. [Skt.] DHATtURa}

"an old female came from the northwest accompanied by two dingo dogs, one animal with reddish hair and the other black-furred. Two brothers of the lizard totem, named [`Wulkinara] and [`Kudnu], succeeded in killing them. They also burned the olf woman. A ... result of this killing at Parachilna was that the Sun ... diappeared. ... Kudnu awakened during the darkness and threw boomerangs in the sky ... towards the east ... and the Sun appeared again.



... in Parachilna Gorge today the bodies of the two dingoes still remain. One is a ... deposit of very brilliant red ochre ... The remains of the second dog lie as a deposit of intensely black wad, or manganese dioxide ... It happens that the red ochre has a mercury content".



"the fire engendering flints {cf. [Codex Borgia depictions of] flint in the moon} ... [`Mi:ka], their Moon Being ... wished to retain exclusive possession of such ["sparks engendered by striking paldari against paruki"] fire. ... [`K wetalbur] {[<ar.] QaTiL ‘murderer’} , an ancestral Hawk Being[,] joined with [`Wata], a Bronze-wing Pigeon Being, to steal this fire from Miika and secrete it amongst forest trees. Thereupon Miika ... sent [`Wad:arn], the Sea, spreading over the land". {this would be a tsunami, which is praeceded by the sea’s recession, as though sucked away -- cf. [Cymry mythic] Sugyn (= [Hell.] Huginos) who sucked away the sea – MaKKa ‘to suck out all’ (LA-L 4:199a)}


Kokata {cf. COCA trees in So. America}

"Bustard Bird Being named [`Keibara] {cf. [<ar.] KaBaRa ‘to exceed in age’ (Vulture the oldest of beings)} .. [had] intentions ... to deprive the people of fire by secreting the fire-engendering flint, even to the extent of submerging it in the sea



... the physical body of Keibara lies, as a great mass of fallen cliff, ... off in the ocean at Kandiljara, and Keibara ... is now the planet Jupiter in the sky."



"In olden days [`Warigan], the moon, was a man. One day he climbed up a tall Swamp Tea tree. Another man, named [Nalan], who later became the sun, set fire to the bark of the tree, which blazed up, burning Warigan, ... but Ngalan found four ribs still whole. {cf. [<ar.] WARIK / WARIK ‘hip[bone]’ (LA-L 4:458b)} ... The fourth he cast to the west, and it ... climbed up ... becoming the moon. ... As "authentication" ... there is a big swamp at Warigan".



/waldar[i]/ ‘moon’ {N.B. : the same meaning ‘forest’ is attached to JuNGLe (jangala in Skt.) as to WoLD} {cf. [Jaina] Vardha-mana < *WALDHA-mana; also [Danish] ballad of WALDemAR at castle Gurre, where the woman Tove was steamed to death in a sauna (GL), similarly as befell (GM 92.i) Minos (whose name may be cognate with /MooN/), by the daughters of KOKALos (‘snail’) = (MAN, pp. 328-9) Horatius COCLes}



Balu [‘moon’ { cf. /PALLU>/ (B-R>S^YT 46:9)}]-ndein (‘moon new’) is invoked in order to secure "extra large Melo shells" ["Melo diadema, or Saler shell." (p. 364a) – a serration-crowned sea-snail (MA)] {cf. sea-snail god Nerites (N)}

367a; 366, Fig. 4


bul:ano ‘moon’ {cf. country /PUL/ (YS^<YH 66:19)} {from the voiced, extended form of this name may be taken the common Austronesian /bulan/ ‘moon’}

388, Fig. 3

[New South Wales tribes]

ki:won (etc.) {cf. [>ar. (AG), <ar. (BF, p. 107)] KIWan ‘planet Saturn’}



Planet Jupiter is a "young boy wandering about the heavens. He is ... disliked by his mother, so much so that that she sends men to spear him at a time when he is moving down low in the western sky."


Tanane-kald; Jarilde-kald

"The planet Mars is ... [`Waijunari] ... the younger brother of [`Nepele] {cf. [<ib.] NPiL-im, the male giants who intermarried with daughters of men (B-R>S^YT 6:4; LB, p. 70).} ... Nepele ... suffered ... a younger brother’s stealing his wives and ... climbing with them into the sky."


Jaralde (Jarilde) {cf. brook ZeReD? (DBRYM 2:13-4)}

"Nepele sat at his watching-place on a hilltop at [`Gawuluwaru]. His two wives ... walk towards [`Wagarawar] on the shore of Lake Alexandrina ...

there at [`Parlowe-`wank] a newly-initiated young man ... named Waijungari ... drank water through a reed-stem {as doth the [Aztec] impersonator of god Xipe Totec} ... the two women noticed that the water surface had become red. {>^n performed the miracle of "changing water into blood." (LB, p. 333)} ... As he emerged, the two women seized hold of him by his penis. ... Waijungari yielded. ...

Nepele plucked some grass. The grass he placed over ... where they slept. He spoke : "Burst into flame when you hear them snoring. They snored and it ignited. ...



They fled ... at first southeastwards towards [`C.enbartag]. ... They came out of the scrub at [`Malbinj.erag]. ...

Then Wainjungari ... speared the sky. ... He was able to reach up to his spear. He climbed up into the sky. ... They [the 2 women] both climbed. ... You may seen three stars there now.

Waijungari having become the planet Mars, his two stolen wives were likely to have been Jupiter and Venus {or more likely, Saturn}."


Iliaura {cf. ILIomAR, Timor}

`Ulpaia (‘creek’) = galaxy; Arunbun`:a {cf. ARUBa in the Dutch Antilles?} = planet Venus, which, in response to magical songs, sung by malevolent people in the far northwest, may induce drought.

369b; Nada-j.ara

`Kata[nja] = planet Venus, controlling the coming of rains


" "

The Inma C.ela (‘caerimony [of] waterholes’) "was intended to compel Venus, Katanja, to hasten the replenishment of their ... water-supplies

... scrapings of white powder had been used, derived from the edge of a ... pearl shell pendant, ... called [`enkelja] ... The scrapings had been blown into the air to make the white clouds of the Northwest Monsoon. ... The virtues of Kata (Katanja), the planet Venus, were in these pendants ... Such pearl shells are used as phallocrypts in northwestern Australia and come ... from the vicinity of Broome". { planet Venus = "Aphrodite issuing from a two-valved cockle shell" (PDG, vol 3, p. 544) : Aphrodite was born from "large prickly cockle (Acanthocardia aculeata)." (BV)}



2 stars in Sagittarius are youths "named [`Undij.a-`tara] ... spearing a kangaroo, represented by a bright {should be ‘dark"!} patch in the Milky Way. ... their efforts to gain their quarry are thwarted by two other star beings who are ... in the same constellation, and are named [`Terkeri-`terkeri] ... a pair of Willie-wagtail birds (Rhipidura leucophrys). On earth the busy chattering of these birds often warns game of the presence of hunters".



"[`Lawari-kark], ... identified as Vega, in the constellation Lyra, tells ... of ... the [`lawari] or mound-building mallee fowls (Leipoa ocellata)".



"The [`Wati `Kuc.ara] or "Two men" Beings" {cf. >ugaritic dyad KoTAR-&-H^asis} : "One Being is [`Mu:mba] of the Iparuka marriage section, now represented in the sky by a Gemini, the other [`Kalaia], represented by the dark area in the sky close to the Southern Cross and near b Centauri. Kalaia is visualized as a male emu bird of the Taroro section, sitting on a nest of eggs which are the faint stars".



"the Pleiades to be [`Wor:ul], a bee’s nest (the stingless honeybees ...)."


Jankun-j.ara {cf. YANKtoNai of Dakota}

"[`Njiru] {cf. [Hell.] NIReUs, who killed the woman Hiera}, a Being now represented by the stars of Orion’s Belt, was a youth filled with desire, who ... approached the Pleiades women as a man but was driven away by the dingo dogs which protected the girls, but only after he had assaulted one of them. She in due course gave birth to a son [`Jula]" {cf. [Lat.] IULus ‘catkin’}.



"[`Kunkarukara] women, ... coming from a northerly direction, arrived at Uluuru, now named Ayers Rock, ... and ... After trying unsuccessfully to kill a Snake Being who controlled the water supply there in order to deter their male pursuers, they ... came to Owalinja.



... the Kungkarungkara women ultimately travelled to ... [A`kanj.udula] where they enetered the ground ... then went into the heavens above".



"male Being named [`Kuldalai] flashed a great light across the sky, ... this was a fireball. Kuldalai had beckoned to them with his "pointing bone" ".



"great hole in the ground at [Parupa-`nawand] near Macgrath Flat. ... the hole is a meteor crater" :- "[Po`rupe] and [`Koromarane] {cf. KOROMANdal coast of the Tamil} were two Marntandi clan sisters ... of ... the same totem or [`naic.e], the [`marntandi] mosquito. ... The younger sister lived ... to the west on [`Kurumarank], now called Rabbit Island. ... Parupe ... began to go blind. ... Her sister Koromarange had care of a son’s daughter, [`Koakani] who ... was ... the last child remaining in the area. ...



With a spear she [Koromarane] poked a hole in a human skull {the Danai:des buried the heads of their bridegrooms in the acropolis of Argos (P 2:24:2)} water dish. Thus the dish leaked. Parupe was a long time obtaining water at [`Peitumank]." {"The Belides [Danaides] who dared to do to death their cousin-husbands carry endlessly the water that their sieves can never hold" (M 4:451).}


comet : "[`Wu:na], (a Star Being who throws a shower of spears as he wanders across the heavens), is ... a great male hunter who is about to kill off all their dingo dogs."

LA-L = Georgii Wilhelmi Freytagii : Lexicon Arabico-Latinum. Beirut, 1975.

GL =

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

MAN = George W. Cox : The Mythology of the Aryan Nations. new edn., London, 1882.

MA =

N =

AG =

BF = J. E. Thorold Rogers : Bible Folklore. 1884.

LB = Louis Ginzberg : Legends of the Bible.

PDG = J. G. Frazer : Pausanias’ Description of Greece. London, 1898.

BV =

P = Pausanias.;query=section%3D%2380;layout=;loc=2.1.4 (fn. 3)

M = Ovidius : Metamorphoses.

p. 377 post-mortem survival of soul





metempsychosis : Souls of the dead "change state by entering the Earth. Within the earth, his spirit remains dormant, in some totemic place, prepared to re-enter the body of some woman who may chance to pass by."



"the early ancestral Being [Ju`runderi], when he became old, crossed over to Karta or Kangaroo Island, whence he climbed into ... the heavens where he is still living. The spirits of all ... people, once freed from their bodies, joined him here. "



"the same being, known as Nurunduri, having lost touch with his son, prepared a long string ..., thus preparing a path so that his lost son’s spirit could follow ... Such strings still guide the spirits of men to Nurunderi."



"place the dead man’s body on a bier fashioned from an old triangular raft ... One end of a long string was passed through his pierced nasal septum, the other end of the string was tied to a stick placed some distance away in an easterly direction. ... The spirit of the dead man passed eastward along this string, departed across the sea, and ascended to the heavens."


C.amburu-pinu {cf. SAMBURU of Kenya}

"a long pole with feathered strings attached led the spirit directly up to the Star, represented by a ball of white feathers."


[Arnhem land]

"departure of the spirits of the dead across the sea. They are guided to a spirit land by the Morning Star [`Ba:numbir]. Barnumbir was once a Young Woman Being on Earth ... Men’s spirits are still lured into the heavens by Barnumbir."


ARCHAEOASTRONOMY : THE JOURNAL OF THE CENTER FOR ARCHAEOASTRONOMY, Vols. XII-XIII = Von Del Chamberlain; John B. Carlson; M. Jame Young (eds.) : Songs from the Sky. Ocarina Books, Bognor Regis (W. Sussex, U.K.), 2005. pp. 358-379 Norman B. Tindale : "Celestial Lore of some Australian Tribes".