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Wati-kutjara


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Oceania

The two totemic ancestors of many legendary cycles. Lizard men. One of them was called Kurukadi and his totem was the iguana; the other's name was Mumba and his totem was the black iguana. The Mandjindja in western Australia believe that the Wati-kutjara descended from the mountains during the ‘dream time’, the age in which the ancestral spirits sleeping beneath the ground arose and wandered the earth. The Wati-kutjara made ceremonial instruments, like the inma board: the dark patches in the Milky Way, known as kadri-paruvilpi-ulu or ‘river course sky’, are boards they placed in the sky, while those given to men on earth are the means of remaining in contact with the ‘dreaming’ ancestors.

When the moon man Kulu, or Kidilli, attempted to force the first women, the lizard men struck and wounded him with their magical boomerang. Kulu soon afterwards died in an obscure water hole. This was the first death. A variant states that the conical mound associated with this conflict represents Kidilli's phallus, which the Wati-kutjara cut off. And the molested women, ancestral spirits rather than the first human beings, are said to have fled to the sky and become the Pleiades.

Subjects: Religion.


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