Back to the Haunted Didgeridoo  
The Wagilag Sisters
The narrative of the two Wagilag Sisters is an Aboriginal Creation story of deep cultural significance for the Dhuwa moiety among the Yolngu in central and east Arnhem Land. The story relates to the meeting between the human and the animal ancestors. It provides the principal aspects of Yolngu life and rituals as expressed in ceremony and song. It also tells of the flooding of the earth in the first great monsoon.The Wagilag story covers several lands and clans, and in particular a waterhole called Mirarrmina in Liyagalawumirr, the home of Wititj - one of the most powerful of the ancestral figures. The story goes that the two Wagilag sisters, one of whom was pregmant, were fleeing their home and were being followed by clansmen. On their travels they come across many animals and plants and brought them in to life by naming them. Eventually, the Wagilag sisters set up camp beside a fertile waterhole at Mirarrmina. There, one of the sisters pollutes the waterhole and the pregnant sister gives birth, which causes Wititj the python to wake up angry and insensed. Wititj creates a storm on emerging from the waterhole and attempts to wash the two Wagilag sisters in to the well with his downpour (the first monsoon). The two Wagilag sisters dance and sing sacred songs in an attempt to diffuse the situation and keep them safe, but when the sisters become too exhausted to continue, the python is able to swallow them up (including child and dog)! However, soon after, Wititj develops stomach pains and groans skywards above the land where he attracts the attention of other great snakes who also rise up in to the sky. The great snakes talk and they discover they all have different names but they wonder why the python is ill. Realising he made a mistake, Wititj lies about what he has just eaten but the pain becomes so unbearable Wititj falls back to the land and vomits up the sisters who regain their life from the stinging bites of caterpillars. Undeterred, Wititj beats them with clapsticks and eats them again. Later, the Wagilag sister's clansmen, asleep in the hollow left by the python's fall, were visited in their dreams by the sisters who revealed to the clansmen the secrets of the songs and dances which had been performed in an effort to stop the rainstorm.