Central Western Plains: Narran Lake creation story

told by Rhonda Ashby (Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay), Lightning Ridge
Cultural Narrative: 

Not far from here, just up near Angledool, there's a beautiful spring.

And the story goes, told by one of the garruus (uncles) that at this beautiful spring called Gurragul, Baayami, the creator, and his two wives, Gadhanbili and Birringulu, set up camp.

So the women set up the camp there and Baayami went out bush, looking for bush food and big game meat. After setting up camp the women went into the beautiful spring waters to cool down and two garriyas (crocodiles) captured them. As the two crocodiles went from this spring and along the Narran River, they also captured all the water.

While Baayami was out bush, he got this feeling that something was wrong. So he went back to the camp where he had left the two women. He found their gumillahs, their grass skirts, but there was no sign of the two women and there was no water in the spring. It came to him that crocodiles had taken his two wives.

The Narran River is a bendy river. So Baayami stopped and he thought: Now, the garriyas are one step ahead of me. So if I follow this windy river around, I'm not going to be able to catch them.

So he stopped and thought: Now, if these two garriyas are ahead of me, I need to be smarter and get one step ahead of them. So, instead of following the river I will cut across the bends in the river. And so he did.

When the crocodiles appeared a big fight took place. Baayami came out and he cut open and killed the two garriyas. He got his two wives out of the stomachs of the garriyas and put them on a big ant nest. The magical healing of the ants got the women twitching and they came back to life.

When Baayami had rescued his two wives from the crocodiles all the captured water spilled out. And now we have this beautiful lake with – well, we should have water in this lake … It was a lake full of water and birds and shellfish. But now you see that we have no water.

Hopefully one day we can get water back in the lake.