LOCAL ART: Painting of the Maroochy River by Kabi Kabi traditional owner, Shannon Chilly.
LOCAL ART: Painting of the Maroochy River by Kabi Kabi traditional owner, Shannon Chilly. Contributed

Kabi Kabi people share legend in honour of Naidoc Week

TO celebrate NAIDOC Week, Kabi Kabi traditional owner Kerry Jones and his family have given permission for the Daily to reprint the following legend:

RELATED: NAIDOC CELEBRATES SENSE OF COMMUNITY, INDIGENOUS ROOTS 

Two Aboriginal women were camped at their hut and fire on Bribie Island, foraging for bungwall (tuber) and eugaries. They were hungry, keen to eat fish.

The women walked to the nearby saltwater lagoon to fish, but found nothing. Suddenly there was a peculiar looking fish, round like the moon.

Trying to catch this fish, it proved to be elusive. Finally they speared the fish with their yam-sticks, leaving it to cook on the red-hot ashes of their fire. They went out to get bungwall to make damper.

Upon returning the fish had gone from the fire, the women looking up, astonished, saw the fish rising and travelling westwards.

Still hungry they decided to move camp, and swam the channel over to Caloundra, staying in caves overnight.

The next morning they kept walking towards Mooloolah Heads, swimming over to Maroochy Beach. Walking along the shore, they came and stood, upon an island opposite, Mudjimba (Old Woman's) Island.

Before them was a great, long log of the bunya tree, gigantic, stretching over to the island. The women, crossed over on this log, then while stepping on to the island, the log vanished. Deciding whether to stay or not, asked themselves, "What will we eat?". They agreed "wynnam" (breadfruit/pandanus) fish and crabs would sustain. Pointing up, one said, "Oh look, there's that fish!". The women stayed, every night wondering at the changing shape of the moon-like fish.

You can still see the rising smoke of their camp fire, although the women themselves are invisible.


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