There are two traditions among the Warramunga with regard to the making of fire. The first relates how two hawks named Warapulapula and Kirkalanjio arose at a spot called Wakuttha, where there is a water-hole, and where also they performed sacred ceremonies. Two big gum-trees arose to mark the spot where they lived and for the first time made fire. One day Warapulapula said to his mate Kirkalanji, "I think that we two will make fire and then walk about in the smoke." Accordingly they did so by rubbing two sticks on one another. Not being accustomed to deal with it, they set the whole country on fire, and Kirkalanji was so badly burnt that he died. It was this fire also which caught the moon man and the bandicoot woman, and burnt the latter.

According to another Warramunga tradition two brothers of the Winithonguru (native cat) totem were wandering over the country. One day the younger brother said to the elder, "How shall we make fire? Shall we twirl two sticks together?" But the elder brother said, "No, we will rub two sticks together." They did so and thus made fire, for up to that time they had had none. The elder told the younger brother to pick the fire-stick up and bring it along with him. He did so, but not being used to handling fire, burnt his hands badly.



  • Spencer, Sir Baldwin. (1904). Northern Tribes of Central Australia. London: Macmillan, pp. 619-620.

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