The Origin of Narran Lake

Monstrous kurreahs (crocodiles) and bees

Byamee’s Quest The Creation of Narran Lake

An Aboriginal tale for the Creation of Narran Lake, where myth and nature intertwine to explain the origins of a landscape. This story not only highlights the mystical elements of Aboriginal storytelling but also imparts a lesson on vigilance and respect for nature’s creatures. Follow Byamee, a wise figure, as he navigates through tragedy and triumph, demonstrating the power of resilience and foresight. This narrative, rich in cultural symbolism, offers a profound reflection on the consequences of ignoring wise counsel.

Australian Legendary Tales

Anthology of 31 folklore stories from the Noongahburrah tribe of New South Wales

  • Will educate and fascinate readers across a broad spectrum of ages.
  • Cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians from the late 19th century.

Purchase your eBook copy of Australian Legendary Tales and start exploring these enchanting stories wherever you are. Buy now and begin your journey through Australia’s rich indigenous heritage.

Byamee’s young wives

Long ago, the wise Byamee instructed his two young wives, Birrahgnooloo and Cunnunbeillee, “I’ve placed a white feather between a bee’s hind legs and will follow it to its hive for honey. While I’m gone, gather frogs and yams, then meet me at Coorigel Spring, where the water is sweet and clear.” The obedient wives set out with their goolays (bags made of kangaroo skins) and yam sticks.

After much digging and foraging, the tired women arrived at Coorigel. Tempted by the cool waters, they built a dardurr (bark humpy or shed) to store their food and removed their goomillahs (young girl’s dress made of opossum sinews and hair), still worn due to their youth. As they refreshed their weary limbs, two monstrous kurreahs (crocodiles) seized and swallowed them whole.

The kurreahs then dived into an underground watercourse, dragging the spring’s water with them as they traveled to the Narran River, leaving the spring and river dry in their wake.

Saltwater crocodile

Meanwhile, Byamee discovered his bee refused to lead him further. Sensing trouble, he hurried back to Coorigel, only to find the camp, yams, and frogs – but no sign of his wives, except their discarded goomillahs. Realizing the kurreahs had taken them, he set off in pursuit.

At the Narran, Byamee found the deep holes the kurreahs had drained. Determined to overtake them, he cut across the bends, creating morilla or moorillah (pebbly ridges). Finally, he caught up and, hiding behind a dheal tree (the sacred tree of the Noongahburrahs tribe), hurled his spears at the separating kurreahs. Wounded, they thrashed their tails, creating deep hollows that filled with the stolen water. To prevent their escape, Byamee drove them onto land and finished them with his woggarahs (a type of club).

Byamee retrieved his wives’ bodies from the kurreahs and placed them on red ant nests. As the ants cleansed away the slime, the women began to twitch. Suddenly, a thunderous sound echoed from their ears, and they rose, trembling with fear. Byamee comforted them, warning of the dangers lurking in the Narran’s depths.

He then prophesied, “Where once was dry land, the black swans, pelicans, and ducks will soon find a home. When the Narran flows, it will create a vast lake in this very spot.” And so it came to pass, with the majestic Narran Lake becoming a haven for countless water birds, a testament to Byamee’s wisdom and the importance of heeding his warnings.

Adapted from Australian Legendary Tales. Buy the eBook