Where Did Death Come From According To Australian Aboriginal Mythology and Who Was Widjingara?

A man named Widjingara was the first person to die according to Australian Aboriginal mythology.

After he was killed in a fight, his wife, the Black Headed Python, wrapped his body in bark and put him on a burial platform.

She mourned the loss of her husband bitterly, and she shaved off her hair and rubbed ashes all over her face and body to show her grief.

Today, the Aborigines still mourn in this fashion.

Widjingara, however, was not dead long, because the gods had given the creatures on earth the ability to resurrect themselves.

Widjingara jumped up from his grave and returned to his wife. Black Headed Python, however, did not act happy to see him.

“Look what I’ve done to myself?” she said, pointing to her head and her body covered with ash.

Widjingara was so insulted by her hostile reception that he returned to his grave. Since then, the gift of resuscitation was lost, and all creatures must die.

A drawing of snakes was made by a contemporary Aboriginal artist, George Tjan-gala.

It shows the continuing use of snake imagery.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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