• 2021.12.22
Australian aboriginal legends are a very important and interesting part of the history of Australia.
Over thousands of years, the aboriginal populations have managed to survive various climatic changes and a great multitude of clans developed on the Australian continent with several different aboriginal languages.

Some aboriginal people have integrated and live in large cities, others, on the other hand, prefer to preserve their traditions by living in special dedicated reserves.
To visit a reserve you need to be invited and to do so most often you need to have an aboriginal friend.

When it comes to the legends, like many ancient peoples, the Australian aborigines also used these stories to explain some great natural phenomena.
There are numerous tales, legends and myths of the aborigines, also known as Dreamtime stories, traditionally narrated orally in the different ethnic groups but you don’t need to visit a reserve to learn them as they are now more than just oral tradition and in any bookshop in Australia you can easily find some books on aboriginal legends.
Dreamtime is the aboriginal dream which would explain the origin of all things and it is the ‘dream’ which inspires also the Aboriginal dot paintings: the subjects narrate ancestral symbols of the creator dream world, taking a cue from their legends and myths.
The protagonists of these stories are usually characters with multiple forms, sometimes they are human beings, other times they are animals or natural elements, all full of spiritual essence.
Some famous myths are the legends that would explain the creation of the various natural elements like rivers, animals and lakes through a figurative language.
My absolute favourite is the one which sees as protagonists two mothers, one with a beautiful son and one with an ugly one.
This legend explains how two Australian animals came to exist: the kangaroo and the dugong.
One day, while visiting a beach, the mother of the ugly son kidnapped the beautiful child by fleeing into the woods convinced that she was not seen. In reality, the other mother saw her, chased her and, when she caught up with her they had a bad fight which led to the transformation of the beautiful child into an ugly frog, and the two mothers got transformed into a kangaroo and a dugong as a punishment.
The dugong is an Australian animal, similar to a manatee.
Another famous legend which also appears on Aussie children’s books is the one about the origin of the boomerang.
A long time ago, in the Dreamtime, the sky was close to the earth and everything was walking or crawling on it. One day, a warrior built a magic stick to lift the sky and when the sky was lifted, he removed and threw away the stick that had become curved under the weight of the sky.
To his surprise, the warrior observed that the stick returned to him after being thrown, and this way the Boomerang was born! The warrior then launched it again and again and started using it to hunt.
There is also another legend which talks about the Barramundi fish: back during Dreamtime there were supposedly no fish in the sea, so people ate mammals, roots and berries.
One day a couple of young people wanted to marry against their tribe’s decision so they decided to escape. They decided to go against the elders of the tribe, breaking the law, and this was also punishable by death. So the men of the tribe began to hunt them down.
Eventually, the two youngsters reached the edge of the earth, where the water began and they realized that, in order to survive, they would have to fight against their tribe.
They made a lot of spears but there were too many members of the tribe so they decided to jump in the water.
They transformed into fish and reproduced so then the sea became full of fish.
I believe that legends are an important tradition and they are dreamy for kids and adults alike.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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