Kingfisher Initiation Myth

The Aboriginals believed that the giant semi-human creatures that were created at the beginning of the world were responsible for all the creeks, hills, gorges and mountains in Australia.

One of the most beautiful parts of the Flinders Rangers is Wilpena Pound.

Long ago there was a big corroboree and initiation ceremony at Wilpena Pound. There was an old Kingfisher Man called Yurlu who lived in the west near Kuyani territory. He entered the Flinders from the north at Mount Termination. At Leigh Creek he lit a large signal fire to let the people know of his coming.

The charcoal remaining from this fire has formed the coal deposits at Leigh Creek and several small deposits in other places on the way down.

The Aboriginals called it Yurlu's coal long before white men ever came into the country.

When Yurlu was passing through Brachina Gorge on his way down to the ceremony he saw two huge snakes travelling in the same direction.These snakes called 'akurra' scared Yurlu so he crept behind some low hills so that he could not be seen.

Yurlu reached the ceremony, but in the meantime the two snakes had caught up with him at the Pound.

They surrounded the people and between them they swallowed everyone except for Yurlu and the ''wild Turkey Man who went off towards the south; also a wilyaru (newly initiated man) and a vardnapa(partly initiated man) managed to escape and both fled eastwards.

The vardnapa stopped at a creek near Wirrealps Station and was transformed into a stony hill. The wilyaru man kept on going until he went too far over the border. The other Aboriginals there told him he had come too far, so he had to turn back towards Mt Chambers.

He kept on travelling until he couldn't go any further. He stopped some two or three miles south of Mt Chambers and there he turned into a large rock on the side of a small hill. The rock is reddish-black in colour and is now known as Wilyaru Rock.

The two akurra were so full after eating the people that they lay down and willed themselves to death. Their bodies form the walls of the Pound and it is said that St Mary's Peak is the head of the female akurra.