Boorong creatures and people in the starry night
Image: Mats Bjorklund
Source: Museum Victoria
Gellarlec: The song man is associated with the star Aldebran. Gellarlec stands in the northern sky. The name Gellarlec derives from the pink cockatoo, also known as the Major Mitchell Cockatoo. The colour is consistent with the star Aldebran that is a red colour.
Kulkunburra: A number of young men dancing, probably two because the word 'bulla' means two. 'Kulkun' is the word for young man or boy. This image is associated with the belt and scabbard of Orion.
Larnankurrk: A group of young women is beating time for Kulkunburra, the young dancing men. They are associated with the Pleiades star cluster. The women are beating time on their rolled-up possum skin cloaks.
Purra: Purra is the Red Kangaroo who is pursued and killed by two hunters called Yuree and Wanjel. Purra appears in the north-east sky just before dawn in mid to late August and disappears in the early evening in late February, followed later by her pursuers. A line drawn from Wanjel through Yuree towards the horizon connects with Purra. The major star in Purra is called Capella.
Yurree: Yurree and Wanjel are two young men who pursue Purra the red kangaroo and kill him and eat him at the commencement of 'the great heat', that is, midsummer.
Wanjel: Wanjel is the long-necked tortoise, based on the star called Pollux found in the northern sky. Pollux is described as an orange star and the long-necked tortoise has an under shell marked with orange-red patches when very young. This tortoise has a long snake-like neck and if roughly handled lets off a foul smelling liquid. It is sometimes known as the stinking tortoise.
Warepil: Warepil, the wedge-tailed eagle, is Australia’s biggest bird. It is based on Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Warepil’s flight is directly overhead in summer and autumn, from east to west.
Bunya: Bunya, pronounced 'boonyah' is the ringtail possum whose head coincides with the top star in the Southern Cross. The Cross is the tree that Bunyah runs up for safety as he is chased by a giant emu called Tchingal.