Bidawal: The Big Snake
The Big Snake
Story by Clayton Harrison - Bidwal
Story told by Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood on Mount Goongerah and at Sandy Point, 2011.
Boulders at Mount Ellery
Photo: Duncan Fraser
Contact Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for LanguagesCopyright
The writers, photographers and the State of Victoria
There was this big snake. Djidjigan, the Rainbow Serpent. He was huge, ngarandyil. He moved across the country making the valleys and hills, manan, marru, everything, he cut them with his tail, wirruk.
He came across the plains near Canberra, he came past Kosciuszko, he wound his way up Mount Goongerah and he lay his eggs there, big eggs, still here look all these big ones, the kooralmanbuyal, the serpent’s eggs. Special country there.
He followed the Bundian Way along, he was on the Boorai, looking, looking for country, he was dunangngunladyan all the way. He went all the way, way past that Wilson’s Promontory and when he finished his head, his duduk, was at Port Melbourne, right there near the Bay. He went everywhere.
Old people told me that story when they looked after me when I was a little kid. I still come up here to Mount Goongerah to see these buyal, these eggs. Goongerah country. I still dream about that snake.
By Clayton Harrison – Bidwal
As told to Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood on Mount Goongerah and at Sandy Point, May 2011
Sounds of Bidawal
a as in car
oo as in blue
uu as in foot
u as in hut
th as in three
g as in goat
j as in jump
ny as in onion
ng as in sing
n as in not
dj, dy, t or d these sounds are made by making a ‘t‘ or ‘d‘ sound with the middle of the tongue on the roof of the mouth
This spelling and sound chart was developed at the Bidawal Language Camp in Mallacoota 2011. It is a preliminary chart for use in this book. Further development of a definitive spelling and sound system by the community is an ongoing process.