A fiendish monster who is described as a man who assumes the shape and power of a bird, so that he can fly through the air. He is most feared during the night-time, when he is supposed to pounce upon his sleeping victims, either killing them by eating their hearts out of their bodies, or doing them some other grievous injury; he takes care, however, not to leave any marks of his ravages, and it is therefore only from the effects, such as pain and illness, that the sufferers know of his nightly visits. The death of children and the loss of sight are usually ascribed to Màrralaye, if no other palpable cause can be assigned



  • Woods, J. D. (1879). The Native Tribes of South Australia. Adelaide: E. S. Wigg & Son, pp. 235-236.

This article incorporates text from The Native Tribes of South Australia (1879) by J. D. Woods, which is in the public domain.