Dreamtime Story about the First Fire

Dreamtime Story about the First Fire

Watjali Maka

This painting is called "Watjali Maka" in the Kalkadoon language which means "The First Fire" in the Kalkadoon language.

This story is as old as time itself and is a story from the beginning of time. Long, long ago some of the Kalkadoon people were gathered on the open plains setting up camp for the night, after a very successful days hunting the men were laying the many slain kangaroo's in a pile. The women were pounding up lily roots, gathering grass and making all the usual preparations for the nights feast.

Without warning a violent huge thunderstorm broke immediately above the campsite with the thundering lightning setting fire to the dry loose grass of the open plains. As it blazed fiercely across the camp and the plains it scorched and roasted some of the slain kangaroo's and when the Kalkadoon people ate these semi roasted portions they all agreed that the roasted meat was far tastier than eating the meat raw.

The elders of the group quickly summoned a young woman to follow the fire that was still burning across the plains and bring it back with her. Soon after the woman came back to the camp holding a large blazing firestick and then made a campfire using the dry wood from around the camp. The elders were so pleased with her success of capturing the first fire that they made her the sole person responsible for never losing the fire or letting the fire go out.

One night in the wet season the camp was overcome by a torrent of water and the fire was extinguished and lost to the Kalkadoon people and when the elders awoke in the morning they were horrified to learn of their fate. They banished the woman to the open plains never to return until she could find the lost fire again and bring it back to the Kalkadoons.

For many long years the woman wandered through Kalkadoon country in solitude until one day when she was walking next to a river she lost her temper after falling over and broke two sticks off different tree's and in a rage she then began rubbing them violently together. To her surprise the friction of the sticks rubbing together produced fire and with this new knowledge she returned to camp and shared her precious discovery with the Kalkadoon people who to this day have not lost their fire.

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