The Yingarna dreamtime story is about the earth mother and the first children of the Western Arnhem Land tribes.
As told and painted by Leslie Nawirridj
Western Arnhem Land, NT
A story about Yingarna the earth mother.
A woman came from the east. She was carrying many string bags. Every bag had lots of children inside, mainly boys. She went to the floodplain on the other side of the East Alligator River, and put children there. Then she went and put children at other different places. She kept travelling all over.
Yingarna went back to the floodplain and circumcised the children there, but they died afterwards. So they became non-circumcising people. She went back to the east and circumcised the children she had left there. They didn’t die, so today those children are still circumcised.
Yingarna kept traveling around everywhere until all the children had been placed out of her string bags.
The string bags represent different tribes and their languages.
Compiled by Alison Nawirridj