The sacred places of origin of the pulwaiya, ‘ancestors’. Among the Wikmunkan tribesmen of northern Australia, the auwa, or totem centres, are the nests and breeding places of birds and animals. Each auwa has its own peculiar characteristics, though there is always water near by in the shape of a stream, lagoon, or water hole. The totemic ancestors are thought to reside and to play about the vicinity of the auwa. Near these subterranean spirits the great tribal ceremonies take place, and in some areas it is possible to find old rock paintings which relate to these rituals.