Dja Dja Wurrung: The Two Feuding Volcanoes
A long, long time ago, long before anyone but the Traditional People walked our Country, our lands, rivers, mountains and animals alike, all had magical life. They had personalities, purpose, speech and they could think for themselves.
This is a story of two volcanoes named Tarrengower and Lalgambook.
Tarrengower in the Dja Dja Wurrung means to be big and heavy and indeed he was just that; big, bold, wise and a very proud old volcano who had become very tired throwing out rocks and lava and preferred to sit humbly watching over the plains.
Another volcano called Lalgambook was a young, loud and cheeky volcano that started to challenge old Tarrengower’s wisdom and authority, and began grumbling and building up anger towards the old volcano. But Tarrengower, being the wise old volcano that he was, decided he should just try to ignore this cheeky little volcano.
Lalgambook grew even angrier that Tarrengower wasn’t acknowledging his threats and started to put on a display of smoke, ash and brimstone to impress the land and animals who were also watching, but this didn’t intimidate the wise old Tarrengower. Instead he just laughed at Lalgambook.
Lalgambook became so frustrated that he began to throw large rocks at Tarrengower who grumbled with annoyance at this cheeky volcano and Tarrengower now began to taunt young Lalgambook by telling him he wasn’t very strong at all because the rocks couldn’t reach him.
Lalgambook exploded with great fury, spurting out lava and smoke high into the sky and hurled gart gart in Tarrengower’s direction, but still could not reach him. This caused Lalgambook to completely blow his core!
Tarrengower’s anger eased and he just grumbled at this cheeky little volcano who was now just coughing and spluttering with no energy left at all.
All the rocks thrown by Lalgambook at Tarrengower can still be seen today and have formed what is known in the present day as the Guilford Plateau where the Jaara people would perform ceremonies on the Bora grounds also known as Yapene.
Re-told by Justice B Nelson – Dja Dja Wurrung, Jaara
The sounds of Dja Dja Wurrung
a as in kart
e as in egg
Dja Dja Wurrung word list
Tarrengower big and heavy, also a mountain situated near the township of present day Maldon
Yapene dance, also a township outside Guildford called Yapeen
Lalgambook now known as Mt Franklin, near Daylesford
gart gart many rocks