Lake Barrine: Ngajan Dreaming Story

Lake Barrine: Ngajan Dreaming StoryLake Barrine is the moving water because the water really went from Ngajan country, it used to be situated at Butcher's Creek which is at Gatlock Road.

Yummani (Rainbow Serpent) used to lay down every morning and then he used to get up and sit on the rock. So it must have been winter time. He used to lie there and curl himself up and there were little birds watching him and they said to each other that this Yummani had a fire going. They said to each other, "We're cold. How can we get fire from him to keep us warm?" One said, "Someone needs to go and get it." But they were all frightened, and kept pushing one another to go and get the fire from Rainbow Serpent. They decided that each one would try to get this fire, but every time the little birds flew down to snatch the fire, Yummani would hit them with his tail and swing at them. So for days or even weeks the little birds would stay cold, until one day they met a black bird (spangled drongo). The little birds told him about the fire. Right away the Spangled Drongo said he'd go and fetch the fire for them all, so they agreed with him. But the first time the black bird tried to get the fire Yummani took a swing at him.

So the black bird's first attempt was unsuccessful. He went back again to have another go at fetching the fire from Yummani. so this time the Spangled Drongo waited for Yummani to go to sleep, then he would swoop down and pick up the wood of fire. But just as he was flying away he made a noise and awoke Yummani up so Yummani whacked the black bird on the tail. That's how the Spangled Drongo got a fork in his tail.

The black bird was successful in getting the wood of fire for the little birds. So all the birds were happy because they could make a fire to keep warm on cold nights and days. So after the birds defeated Yummani they kept tormenting him day and night so the Rainbow Serpent got very angry and said to himself, " I have to move". So he thought and thought about it until he could take no more nonsense from the birds.

So early next morning he decided he would go. He went all along Gatlock Road, all the way around until he came to a place as we know today as Lake Barrine. When Yummani left Ngajan country he took all the water with him. When he reached Lake Barrine he spewed all the water there, and that's where he's been ever since.

In Ngajan language Lake Barrine is Barrain meaning day break because that's when Yummani arrived there.

Back to More Stories