Djab wurrung: Kuukuup Wuuchu (the Blue Heron)
(the Blue Heron)
Story translated by Vicki Couzens – Dhauwurd Wurrung and Keerray Woorroong
(a.k.a Blue Heron)
Photo: J.J. Harrison
Contact Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for LanguagesCopyright
The writers, photographers and the State of Victoria
Maleeyeeto there was a murt ngeeang. His tribe was camped under a peeal tree near Dunkeld. The murt ngeeang and the other puupuup kaleek had kurkak yuuchuuk to chaknango.
They were chaknangak kan kan baa yuuchuuk.
In the murt ngeeang’s tribe, food had to be shared. The murt ngeeang was not tulkiyan. He did not like sharing.
He did not get to chaknango kan kan baa of the fish that he had kurkak. The murt ngeeang took the form of a kuukuup wuuchu.
Kuukuup Wuuchu landed in the peeal. He made the peeal puitkan, puungak all the other Kuulay. The few Kuulay who weren’t puunganoot yinnan and told their neighbours.
When they kan kan baa came back to that place, they seen that one, Kuukuup Wuuchu, had chaknango kan kan baa the yuuchuuk. The Kuulay were pirnawuchuup. In pirrpirrpirp, they grabbed the murt ngeeang and cursed his ngiyarr to fly in the form of the Kuukuup Wuuchu.
And that is how the Kuukuup Wuuchu came to be and he still flies alone.
Translated by Vicki Couzens – Dhauwurd Wurrung and Keerray Woorroong
Djab wurrung word list
kan kan baa all
Kuukuup wuuchu heron, blue heron
maleeyeeto a long long time ago
murt ngeeang greedy person, ‘big mouth’
ngiyarr spirit, man’s spirit
peeal red gum
puitkan fall down
puupuup kaleek family
yuuchuuk freshwater fish