The name given to evil magic, and also the object possessing it. Sometimes personal and sometimes impersonal. Mushrooms and toadstools will not be eaten for they are fallen stars and endowed with arungquiltha.
An eclipse of the sun, called ilpuma, is attributed to the presence therein of arungquiltha. This particular form of arungquiltha is supposed to be of the nature of a spirit individual living away to the west who has the power of assuming the form of any animal. It is believed that the eclipse is caused by the periodic visits of the arungquiltha who would like to take up his abode in the sun, permanently obliterating its light, and that the evil spirit is only dragged out by the medicine men who on this occasion withdraw the atnongara stones from their bodies and throw them at the sun while singing magic chants — always with success.
The Magellanic clouds they regard as endowed with arungquiltha and believe that they sometimes come down to earth and choke men and women while they are asleep. The Pleiades are supposed to be women who in the Alcheringa lived at a place called Intitakula, near to what is now called the Deep Well. They went up into the sky and there they have remained ever since.
- Spencer, Baldwin; Gillen, F. J. (1968). The Native Tribes of Central Australia. New York: Dover, p. 566.
- Spencer, Sir Baldwin. (1904). Northern Tribes of Central Australia. London: Macmillan, pp. 627, 746,
This article incorporates text from The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1968) by Baldwin Spencer and F. J. Gillen, which is in the public domain.