barramundi dreamtime

Aboriginal Religion and Dreamtime Stories

5 August 2021

4.2 MINS

Here are two dreamtime stories — or ngarranggarni — describing the origins of the Barramundi Gap where the Argyle diamond mine was located.

1. Jaliwang/Gadjerong Ngarranggarni Barramundi Dreaming Story

The first story is the Mirwoong story and it goes something like this:

A barramundi was living in the river at the Bandicoot Bar where the diversion dam at Kununurra now exists. One day, a crane was fishing around for food in that area and saw the barramundi swimming by.

So the stork speared the barramundi with her long beak, but was unable to catch it, as the barramundi swam away very quickly. The barramundi then travelled up the Dunham River and onto Glenn Hill, scraping off some of her scales as she passed through that area.

It has been said that you can see some of the scales as white rock on the hillside near the community at Glenn Hill’s first gate. Towards the late afternoon, this white rock is clearly noticeable.

It is said that right here the barramundi is spotted by some women, who tried to catch her by using rolled spinifex grass — a traditional fishing method known as gelganyem. But the barramundi jumps over the net by flicking its tail, and escapes between the two hills of Barramundi Gap, then goes on down to Bow River, where it comes to rest as a white rock. This white rock can still be seen today. It is quite different to all the other rocks at Bow River.

2. Gidja/Daiwul/Ngarranggarni Barramundi Dreaming Story

This second story goes something like this:

A barramundi was being chased by a group of old women and the barramundi swims into a cave near the area now known as Barramundi Gap. As the barramundi enters the cave, the women prepare to catch her with nets made from rolled spinifex grass known as kilkayi, a traditional Gidja fishing method.

The barramundi then realises that she is trapped in the shallow, muddy waters of the cave entrance and tried to escape by swimming to the other end towards Wesley Spring. But she cannot find a way out and returns to the entrance of the cave where the old women are waiting with their nets.

The barramundi swims towards the women and jumps over them, dropping her scales as she jumps, leaving her scales behind in the shallow water. The scales then become diamonds of all different colours, which are found there today.

The barramundi then jumps through a gap in the rocks, landing in the deep clean water of Cattle Creek, Kowinji. As the barramundi dives, she turns into a white stone. The three old women who chased the barramundi to Cattle Creek look into the water to find her, but they, too, turned into stone and become part of the countryside.

Today you can see three rock formations overlooking the creek.

Also Peggy Patrick — one of the traditional custodians of the area — spoke to someone in the early 1980s about more sacred sites in the area called Barramundi Gap, located at the top of the pipe, and that the Barramundi Gap was a place the men did not know about, where the women gathered for women’s business. But that is another story.

What do we do with these stories, and where did they come from?

The Adversary

God must have told His choirmaster about the minerals and rocks, including the diamonds, and where He placed them. We read about Lucifer in Ezekiel 28:13-28:

You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper… On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.

Lucifer was God’s choirmaster, but he turned against God with all his minions of demons and was kicked out of God’s place in heaven, becoming Satan, the Adversary (see Isaiah 14:12-16). He is a strategist who is trying to counteract and counterfeit everything God is doing in His world.

He enters our thought waves to distort our thinking. Search about brainwaves — theta, gamma, delta and alpha brainwaves — and think about how Satan does this.

God tells us in Ephesians 6:16-18:

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Be aware of how Satan attacks our thought waves — through dreams and thoughts that become man’s dreaming stories, and how our hearts can be changed to evil.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
~ 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
~ John 10:10

God created this earth with all its plants and animals and minerals — to bless us. He wants us to enjoy all of His creation, including the minerals and the beauty and art and music that He created. Don’t let any stories or lies from the enemy stop us all from enjoying all of creation, that is groaning for its release.

… the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
~ Romans 8:18-21

I have written up these stories so that you can know the truth about the ngarranggarni and dreamtime stories from other Aboriginal tribes. I am Rodney Rivers from the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. I have Irish, English and Aboriginal heritage. My grandmothers are from the Gooniyandi and Gidja tribes in the Kimberley.

I am not criticising dreamtime stories or my people, but I want you to know there is a difference between the spiritual and the cultural world. Everyone needs to know and decide what you believe and accept into your world and how you live, because your choices have effects that last for eternity. And I suggest you seriously consider this, and choose to believe in Jesus Christ and follow His way.

[Photo: Engdao/BigStock]

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  1. Pamela Mcevoy 5 August 2021 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I have wondered for a long time about things like khadijah men, smoking ceremonies and other such things.
    Could you please explain some of these things in the context of what you believe Christians should avoid from aboriginal culture.

  2. Cate 5 August 2021 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Smoking ceremonies are meant to connect the people of today to their dead ancestors’ spirits. It is a spiritual ceremony. I respectfully refrain from participation in smoking ceremonies.

  3. JOHN WILLIAM PHILLIPS 7 August 2021 at 4:17 pm - Reply


  4. ASHLEY 6 July 2022 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Hey Rodney,
    Ive been trying to find where i can contact you ive been dealing with a serpent spirit moving inside me for over a year its i was in witchcraft and did lots of ceremonys
    Gave my life to Jesus
    And would really be good to connect
    I think wagal but im tormented daily and night attacks
    Please contact me

    • Ashley 6 July 2022 at 1:35 pm - Reply


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