Aboriginal ArtManuel PamkalBolung
Long time ago the Bolung traveled from Arnhem Land and came out near where now you will find the thirteenth Gorge, known to Jawoyn people as (Parrakparrak) but the Dalabon call it Barrakbarrak. The Bolung represents what white people know as mother earth. The Bolung created the trees, animals and places. From Parrakparrak she came down through the rock creating the gorges where now the Katherine River flows. Once the river started to flow the Bolung brought forth all the animals and plants and trees and gave them names. Bolung still inhabits the deep pools of the second gorge at Nitmiluk and care must be taken not to disturb her. Aboriginal people from the area do not swim in this Gorge to show their respect and they do not fish in the pools where Bolung sits. When fishing close to these pools, they take only a small portion of the fish caught and throw the rest back to appease Bolung for the fish taken. Drinking water must not be taken from these deep pools, but rather from shallow pools. Pregnant women and new initiates may not swim in the Katherine River for fear of disturbing the Bolung. Bolung is not spoken to and must be left undisturbed.
Some aboriginal people believe the 1998 flood happened because the Bolung was unhappy with all the noise from the tour boats traveling over the top of her. Now the tour boats turn there engines off and float past the area where the Bolung lives.
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