Jadurru Indigenous Art

The Rainbow Serpent

Rainbow Serpent by Indigenous Artist Jimmy DeenLong ago in ‘Dreamtime’ all the earth lay sleeping, nothing grew and nothing moved.  Then one day the Rainbow Serpent awoke from beneath the earth and pushed herself up to the surface.  She travelled far and wide leaving winding tracks, and the imprint of her sleeping body.  After travelling the earth she returned to the place she had first appeared, and called to the frogs to come out, the frogs were slow as their bellies were full of water which they had stored during their long sleep.  The Rainbow Serpent tickled their stomachs and when the frogs laughed the water flowed out of their mouths and filled the tracks and hollows left by the Rainbow Serpent, creating the rivers and lakes.

Grass and trees grew with the land filled with water, and awoke all the animals.  The Rainbow Serpent made laws the animals had to obey, but some were trouble makers, so the Rainbow Serpent punished the animals who broke the law, and became stone and were turned into mountains and hills never to walk the earth again.  Those who obeyed the law were rewarded and turned into human form, each were given their own totem of the animal, bird or reptile from when they began, so the tribes knew themselves by their own totem.  The Rainbow Serpent ruled that no man should eat of his totem, but only of other totems, this way there was food for all.

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