The Man Shining Like the Sun

With thanks to the sovereign Gumbayngirr Nation and Peoples.

The Man Shining Like the Sun– Gumbaingirr Creation Story

Once a Gorri saw a stranger. So he went to a hill and climbed it. The Gorri saw that other one coming.

Well who’s that coming? I’ve never seen such a man before. What’s going on? Who’s that coming?

He asked this and kept looking and then he came closer keeping the stranger in sight.

Gee! Well now he’s shining like the sun!

The Goori skirted around and ran back down to the camp. There he told everyone.

I’ve just seen this strange very different looking Goori. Handsome he was. He became just like the sun; you know, when you see the sun coming out? Well, that’s what he was turned into.

Where was he?

He went that way; he went to the sea down in the east.

Quickly the Goori took the young fellows a bit uphill. They kept going, following the stranger, and almost caught him. ‘Turn to water’ he said. He cut a canoe and crossed the river he had now made. Then some men swam across; across they swam; but Father Balugan said.

Let their tongues be silenced straight away. Let these here immediately talk in Bundjalung. Now talk in Bundjalung for the first time.

However some people followed him across; so he made them all different by telling them: as each group crossed a river he had made.

Now you will be Bundjalung! And you Yaygirr!

So did Balugan make it happen.


He told them.

Well, they chased him, they kept following him all the way here to Nambucca. Across the rivers went the young men, along the beach and off onto mountains, but failed to catch him. They approached him again and almost caught the Father here at Nambucca. Then he put another river down and cut another canoe to cross it. Then they again kept following, so he named them:

All you there will speak Gumbaynggirr! Dhanggati! Ngambaa, you people of Yarrhapinni!

That’s what the Father said. So he left them then, the Ngambaa and the Dhanggati People.


Copyright: Cultural and Intellectual Property of the Gumbayngirr Nation and Peoples

This cultural content remains the cultural intellectual property of the sovereign Gumbayngirr Nation and Peoples.

We acknowledge that St Andrews Cathedral and Gawura School have sought written permissions from Gumbayngirr local Elders Aunty Julie Long and Uncle Michael Jarrett. This permission was sought through St Andrews Cathedral School employee and Gumbayngirr man, Matthew Hammond who currently resides in Sydney.

As customary to cultural responsibility and traditional lore, we strongly advise seeking written permissions from the Elders of each Nation before copying, reproducing or duplicating cultural resources including but not limited to artworks and stories.

We acknowledge that the story used to tell the children who created this artwork, was sourced from the resource Gumbayngirr Yuludarla Jandaygum- Gumbayngirr Dreaming Story Collection.  Edited by Steve Morelli, Garry Williams and Dallas Walker.

As such, it is our duty to ensure cultural processes and cultural authenticity is upheld and maintained for future generations to come.

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