From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
[giant-sized stone implements]
Some of the
most important myths and legends of the Aborigines of the Murray River
region concerned those of the Ngurunderi. These giant people lived upon
the Murray cod fish, as well as the giant kangaroos and other 'megafauna'
that inhabited the surrounding countryside in ancient times.
The first Ngurunderi
giant was said to have been responsible for the creation of the Murray
made huge stone implements, including knives with which they cut up
and skinned the giant marsupials they killed. The Ngurunderi people
also knew the use of fire for they cooked all the food they captured.
One myth says
that the first Ngurunderi giant had two wives, which he had obtained
in the course of his travels along the Murray River.
The women eventually
ran away from him and he pursued them all the way down to the South
Australian coast, from where the wives were attempting to cross over
to Kangaroo Island, at that time still joined to the mainland. Ngurunderi caused
the sea to rise, drowning the women. He then crossed over to Kangaroo
Island where he lived for a time.
Note: The first
'megatools' [giant-size stone implements] to be identified by scientists
were recovered from Kangaroo Island in 1948 by archaeologist Dr A Gallus.
At the time they were linked to an early Aboriginal stone tool culture,
labelled 'Kartan', after the original Aboriginal name for the island.
Could the Ngurunderi
tradition be a race-memory of the former presence there of a much larger
form of hominid?
In October 1990,
Dereck Holmes, while camped on the bank of the source of the Snowy river
below Mt Kosciusko, awoke at first light to peer from his tent. As he
did so, he caught sight of a 1.6 m tall hairy female creature standing
nearby amid granite boulders.
As he emerged,
bewildered at the sight, she bolted away, disappearing over a granite
[It was hereabouts
back in 1948 that a party of campers sighted a tall, hairy figure, moving
up a mountainside through snow, at a distance of about 100 m].
Rock Village 1948
Giant-hairy [reddish] human-like Creature
Most of the locals need little
convincing of the existence of these primitive, hairy hominids in the
wilderness around them and have many personal experiences to relate,
such as the following: George Partridge, now about
60 years old, and a personal friend of this author, often talks to me
of his own "close encounter" with the 'hairy man' or 'Nundle
Giant' as 'he' is better known to the locals.
George, who has lived all
his life at Hanging Rock village, the little community perched high
above Nundle township, and nestled amid surrounding forest-covered mountains,
has shown me the exact location, where in 1948, when he was about 8
years old, he saw a sight that he is hardly likely to ever forget.
"One afternoon, a young
mate and I decided to go and pick some wild cherries in the forest over
at Mt Pleasant, in a valley forming part of the mountain." "We took a galvanised
tin bucket. We were working our way down a steep gully.
However, before we reached
the bottom where the cherries grew, we were stopped in our tracks when
we saw, about 100 yards below us, this hairy [reddish] human-like creature,
a good 7-8ft [2.1-2.4m] tall - the height of the cherry trees - standing
there with his arms raised picking the cherries." "Actually we wondered
if 'he' wasn't some kind of large bear."
"We decided not to wait
around to find out and bolted back up the mountainside the way we had
come, dropping the bucket as we did. We were at least two and a half
miles from home and were exhausted by the time we reached my place". "My parents laughed
when I told them of the "big hairy bear" we had seen, 'Ah,
there's no bears in Australia', my mum said". "A few days later my
dad [George Steven Partridge] went down to the spot and retrieved the
bucket, but saw nothing".
The Hanging Rock region was
alive with miners during the mid-19th century following the discovery
of big gold deposits in the nearby Nundle/Peel River area, and it was
not long before they learnt of, or saw Yowies while searching lonely
forest-covered gullies for signs of the 'yellow metal'.
Aborigines of this region
warned the prospectors and early settlers not to venture about this
area alone or unarmed, otherwise they might be attacked by 'hairy men'
or 'Coories who had inhabited the ranges hereabouts since before the
appearance of the first tribespeople.
The Coories were cannibalistic
also, and made stone tools and fire, and were either normal human-height
or sometimes a bit taller. They also warned the settlers
of other, much larger "great hairy men" the Goolagahs, the
stone tool-making "giant hairy ones" who would kill and eat
anyone they caught in the mountains.
Stanley Range Papua New Guinea 1948
brandishing a huge wooden Club
In the heart
of the Owen Stanley Range about 1948, a young warrior is said to have
killed a Mabi manbeast by shooting three arrows into him,, as the monster
approached him brandishing a huge wooden club. He removed the monster's
head, smoked it and kept it as a trophy for some time thereafter.
readers may think of these native tales, the hairy man-giants of the
forests are very real to them, for unlike the many evil spirits that
haunt their folklore, these monsters are living flesh and blood creatures
In fact, all
Melanesians believe in an age similar to that of the Dreamtime of the
Australian Aborigines, when the first human-like beings roamed the earth.
The Dobu people call these first primitive hominids Kasa sona. They
are distinct from ordinary natives, because the Dobu claim they and
other tribes are but recent inhabitants of the earth compared with these
primitives. The appearance of the Kasa sona as described by the Dobu
is reminiscent of Homo erectus ape-men.