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The Karadjeri in north-western Australia attribute everything to the two ancestral brothers called Bagadjimbiri. Prior to their rising from the ground as two dingos, the earth was featureless. There were no trees, no people, no animals—nothing lived. The Bagadjimbiri made water holes; from a toadstool and a fungus they shaped genital organs for the first sexless people; they also instituted the rite of circumcision.

After the two brothers had become gigantic men reaching up to the sky, and travelled throughout the land, they got into a dispute with a cat man called Ngariman, whom they had annoyed with their laughter. Ngariman and his relatives killed the Bagadjimbiri with spears. So enraged was Dilga, their earth goddess mother, that milk came out of her breasts and flowed underground to the place of the murder. There it emerged in a torrent, drowning the culprits and reviving the victims. After a time the reborn Bagadjimbiri decided to pass away; their corpses turned into water snakes and their spirits rose into the sky as great clouds.

Subjects: Religion

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