Bunggaliyarra

There is another story of that time when the world was soft. Before the first Burndud was sung, Mingkala sang the seven Gurdigurdi sisters, the Mayalarri (Pleiades) into the night sky.

As Marrga sang the Burndud, two of the Mayalarri fell from the sky into the sea near Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula). When the Bunggaliyarra sisters in law heard the Marrga singing the Burndud, they were drawn the ocean by the beautiful sound of the singing. They travelled fast and went far up to the desert country and then came back travelling into Birridanha (Chichester Ranges) where the Jirrdha (seed) thalu and Bardurra (turkey) thalu are. As they travelled, the Bunggaliyarra created and named many things but around Thaliyirndi, Cooyapooya, Mirrawaadnha and Yawajunha their trail careened and turned forming a beautiful and perilous path of creation.

Marrga men, seeing them travelling, wanted the Bunggaliyarra for wives and chased them. They caught up with the sisters when the Bunggaliyarra stopped at Mirrawaadnha hill to weave a mandanhu (fishing net) from Yalhirri grass. When they saw the Marrga men, the sisters fled running down Mirrdawaadnha dragging their net behind them. Half way down the hill, they dropped their net and the world grew up forming the small rivers and the deep yinda pools at Barndadnha, Nyawarndadnha, Bunggaliyarra and Garlanjardnha. At Garlanjardnha, when a bird called out, the Bunggaliyarra were so frightened they leapt into the water where they turned into mungku, the underwater anthills that our yurala (rainmakers) used to dance upon to create rain. A Wirranga tree came up, and the sisters’ spirits went through the water and came up in that Tree in the Moon we call Mandirrinha and returned to the sky.

The last yurala to drive the rain was Long Mack. Our sacred sites associated with the Bunggaliyarra sisters were destroyed in the early 1980s by the building of the Harding Dam.

In the Ngurra Nyujuggamu time is eternal returning and returning. Mythological. Ephemeral. One story follows another, but who is sure of the ordering when everything created is never gone forever.