A Sea Serpent made Millstream Pools
Learn more about these places in Yindjibarndi country in the book Ngurra Wardurala Buluyagayi: Exploring Yindjibarndi Country detailing fifty significant Indigenous sites around the Millstream – Chichester National Park.
Long ago Barrimirndi, a great sea serpent, became angry with a boy. That was at Miljijana. Two novices had eaten a Barnbarn. The serpent smelled it in the sea and came out from the wild. It got up, got up from the north and made a deep trench in the land, digging it halfways, and came on along the river from the north. He cut off these two halfs by making waterholes beginning at the edge, and cut open Wirrajana, went to Wuthumarri and made Wuthumarri Pool. After being underground there, he rose toward Ngarranggarri, making that a pool too.
Again going underground, he went to Jandiwurwur Creek. No one there, so he came back. Back again, he made Gumar Pool. From Gumar, he went on again to Yiriwa and made a pool at Yiriwa.
After he made Malimardungana Pool, he went underground close to Malimardungana and went near Malany. Again he went undergound from Malany, and, being further around, he dug out Niyali and made the two Birgun pools. And he came to Marduyambalanha and made Marduyambalanha Pool. Going underground from there, he went somewhere near Mirlinguna. No one was there at Mirlinguna, so he came back.
Again he dug at Bargumarriguna and cut Bargumarriguna open and went from there near Jindawurrinanha, making Jindawurrinanha a pool. He went underground at Jindawurrinanha, but he returned to where the red ochre edge is, being underground close by from there, and made a pool in the red ochre.
Southward, where the stone is swallowed and the foam forms, he got the boys. He took them up on top of a whirlwind at Miljijanha. The serpent got them and swallowed them.
This land had no water before he got the two boys and swallowed them. Just before he swallowed them the people cried and cried. Using a stick, they tried to get into the arse of the serpent to get the boys out, but they couldn’t reach. They returned to their camp by the river very crying out, a big crowd.
That was too much for the serpent, so he buried them in a flood of water. Finish! All drowned! He’s in the water now, which fills the whole trench. We call it jinda.
We call the river in the country north – starting from the old bamboo pools, not far from the homestead – we call it Jarnda-Nyirra, right up to Nangamurna, Jarnda-Nyirra from there to Gregory Gorge.
SOURCE: C. von Brandenstein. 1970. Narratives from the North-West of WA in the Ngarluma & Yindjibarndi languages (Vols 1-3). AIATSIS: Canberra.