An evil spirit. He was jealous of the beautiful earth (Tya) that Baiame had made. In secrecy he made all the kinds of insects — beetles, flies, bugs, snails, worms, and a thousand other tiny creatures that crawled, and burrowed, and flew. For an endless time he breathed life in them and sent them out in swarms. They blackened the sky and the ground became heaving, crawling mass. The earth grew bare and ugly, the scent of flowers was replaced by the noxious smell of the plagues that devoured the living things Baiame had made. He asked the mother spirit Nungeena for help, and she and her attendant spirits created the birds, which destroyed the hordes of Marmoo.

Marmoo tried to persuade the birds to sing all day, hoping that they would thus have no time to build nests and lay eggs, and would so die out. The birds would not listen to him and flew away. Only the vain cuckoos remained and they agreed with him, thinking that they would receive much praise. When it was time for them to lay eggs, Marmoo told the cuckoos to throw out one of the eggs in a nest and and lay theirs in its place.



  • Reed, A. W. (1965). Myths and Legends of Australia. Sydney: A. H. and A. W. Reed, pp. 29 ff.