The spirit who is involved in the supernatural dissection of the shaman in his initiation. His son Munkaninji is also part of the initiation rite.

An old Thakomara man named Kurkutji, who is a celebrated medicine man in the tribe, told that one day he walked into a cave in a hill called Yaua, not far away from Borroloola, on the Macarthur River, which flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The old Mundadji who, unknown to him, was wandering about, came up, caught him by the neck, and killed him. Mundadji cut him open, right down the middle line, took out all of his insides and exchanged them for those of himself, which he placed in the body of Kurkutji. At the same time he put a number of sacred stones in his body. After it was all over the younger spirit, Munkaninji, came up and restored him to life, told him that he was now a medicine man, and showed him how to extract bones and other forms of evil magic out of men. Then he took him away up into the sky and brought him down to earth close to his own camp, where he heard his tribesmen mourning for him, thinking that he was dead. For a long time he remained in a more or less dazed condition, but gradually he recovered and the men knew that he had been made into a medicine man. When he operates the spirit Munkaninji is supposed to be near at hand watching him, unseen of course by ordinary people.



  • Eliade, Mircea. (1964). Shamanism. Bollingen Series no. 76. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 49.
  • Spencer, Sir Baldwin. (1904). Northern Tribes of Central Australia. London: Macmillan, p. 487.

This article incorporates text from Northern Tribes of Central Australia (1904) by Sir Baldwin Spencer, which is in the public domain.