Abstract

This site was recorded in 1948, when I visited Groote Eylandt as a member of the Australian and American Arnhem Land Expedition, sponsored by the Oommonwealth Government of Australia and the National Geographic Society of America.

The Myth: In the Aropoia or Dreamtime the mythical snake-woman, Jiningbirna with her four children, came up out of a waterhole, Jininga-madja, on McComb's Point, which separates Hemple and Thompson's bays in Port Langdon. Whilst there, a mythical man, Nanatjua, and his companions tried to capture the woman, but she fled northwards along the beach, taking her children with her. When she reached a lake called Ilarago-madja, which is behind the sand-dunes in the middle of Hemple Bay, she found that two of her four children had been lost during the flight. Jiningbirna, not liking the water in this lake, shifted to a pink-quartzite headland further to the north, named after her. Here she tried to camp, but the rock was too hard wherever she started, and she had to dig out many boulders which she threw in heaps on the ground….

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
McCarthy, 1953, Rec. Aust. Mus. 23(3): 105–110
Author
Frederick D. McCarthy
Year
1953
Title
The snake-woman, Jiningbirna
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
23
Issue
3
Start Page
105
End Page
110
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.23.1953.624
Language
English
Plates
plate ix
Date Published
21 October 1953
Cover Date
21 October 1953
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Digitized
22 April 2009
Available Online
22 July 2009
Reference Number
624
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17376/624.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17376/624.pdf
File size: 125kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17376/624_complete.pdf
File size: 915kB