The Dreaming

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The Python People

Australian Diamond Python

Australian Diamond Python

One time, the dream ancestors known as the Kuniya converged on Uluru from three directions. These people took the form of pythons. One of the Kuniya women carried her eggs on her head and buried them at the eastern end of Uluru. Small circular depressions on Uluru's summit were made when one of the Kuniya people rested during the creation times in the soft sand of Uluru.

Everything went well then at Uluru. The women set out every day to gather vegetables, grass seeds and fruit, while the men captured kangaroos, emus and wallabies. While they were camped at Uluru, however, they were attacked by a party of Liru (carpet snake) warriors. On the south-west face of Uluru are pockmarks in the rock, the scars left by the warriors' spears. Two black-stained watercourses are the transformed bodies of Liru.

The fight centered around Mutijulu Gorge, on the south face of the rock. Here a Kuniya woman fought with her digging stick. The features of the Liru warrior she attacked can be seen in the west side of Mutitjulu, where his eye, head wounds (transformed into vertical cracks), and severed nose form part of the cliff.

The Liru leader and a young Kuniya man engaged in single combat at Mutitjulu Gorge. They stood face to face and gashed at each other with their stone knives. On the western face of the gorge are two long, vertical fissures, which are believed to have been cuts made on the leg of the Liru leader. Despite his wounds, he continued to fight and succeeded in slashing the leg of his opponent so badly that the young Kuniya man was in danger of bleeding to death.

Delirious from pain and loss of blood, he made a track that is now the watercourse that flows into the gorge. Here the Kuniya man died, and the places where he rested as he bled to death are now three pools high up on the rock face. Above Mutitjulu is Uluru rock hole. This is the home of a Kuniya who releases the water into Mutitjulu. If it stops flowing during a drought, the snake can be dislodged by calling "Ka! Ka! Ka!" (Meat! Meat! Meat!).

On the eastern side of Uluru, at ground level, are two cylindrical boulders. One is believed to be the transformed body of Kuniya Ungata, and the other the woman Kuniya Ingridi. If the Anangu rub one of the stones in the proper season, while chanting the correct song, they believe the life essence of the pythons will leave the stones and impregnate female pythons, thereby increasing the food supply.


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