17-Feb-00 thru 20-Feb-00
The Kakadus is a world heritage area in the most northern tip of Australia's Northern Territory. The Didgeridoo originated here.
Some weird bugs in Darwin
A Partridge in a pear tree... Or is it a pigeon in a date tree???
"The Cathedral termite mounds are among the largest built by termites anywhere in the world. Inhabited by the termite Nasutitermes triodiae, these enormous columner structures sometimes exceed 6 meters in height and may be more than 60 years old"
Important reading in the top end...
Aboriginal Rock Art Sites
The Kakadus are known for their rock art - what follows is two different rock art sites...
Finally a gorge!!!!
Aboriginal culture centers around spiritual ancestors of the dreaming who are responsible for creating the landscape, its wildlife, the people and their way of life. The violent electrical storms which occur on the Arnhem plateau every year are explained by the story of Namarrgon, the Lightning Man.
Namarrgon came from the sea in the north with his wife Barrginj and their children. They came with big sea waves, rain and thunderstorms. Namarrgon started moving inland from hat is now known as the Cobourg peninsula, leaving his power behind at many places.
He stopped at Wugulumu waterhole where he ate some cabbage palm leaf and left behind some children. Further south, they went along the escarpment to the Liverpool river where Namarrgon left behind some more of his power. At Bolkngok, Namarrgon entered the sandstone country in the boundaries of the rol clan and put his image in a rock shelter. Namarrgon made one last journey across the plateau to the western edge where he looked over the shear walls of the escarpment. He took out one of his eyes and placed it high on the cliffs of Namarrgondjahdjam, where it sits waiting for Gunumeleng (pre-monsoon season).
Namarrgon returned to Bolkngok to stay for good and sent his children out all over the country. They were djabbe, common grasshoppers, but Namarrgon changed them to alyurr, the spectacular Leichhardt's grasshoppers which come out in the wet season.
Namarrgon has stone axes on his head, elbows and knees, and a striped band on his body that belongs to the Thunder. He splits the dark clouds with his stone axes and makes the ground shake with his thunder.
The rock art above; the key to the accompanying text below
- Namarrgon is the Lightning Man. He wears his lightning as a band around him connecting his arms, legs and head. Stone axes on his knees and elbows make the thunder when he strikes them on the ground or against the clouds.
- Barrginj is Namarrgon's wife. She and Namarrgon are parents to Aljurr or the Leichhardt's grasshoppers which appear as the first storms break
- Namandjolg and his sister broke the incest laws on the rock ledge above these paintings. He later became Ginah, the great salt water crocodile
- Family groups of men and women on their way to a ceremony. Flecks on the breasts of the two women on the right indicate that they are breast feeding.
- Guluibirr, the saratoga fish is a popular food fished from the waters nearby
This is Nabulwinjbulwinj (pronounced Nar-bull-win-bull-win). He is a dangerous spirit who eats females after striking them with a yam.
Some more paintings from the same area...
Some flowers from the hike
The hike to the next gallery was through some dense jungle...
With odd shaped palms...
And magical (looking) mushrooms.
The Arnhem Land Aboriginal calendar