Sunday, February 8, 2015

A History of Bunyips: Australia's Great Mystery Water Beasts by Josie Flett.

A History of Bunyips: Australia's Great Mystery Water Beasts by Josie Flett. Paperback book published by Free Spirit Press 1999, 84 pages with black and white photographs and a few black and white maps.

An authentic history of the terrifying and mysterious creature which once haunted the creeks and billabongs of Australia. Accounted for in Aboriginal legend, described by the early settlers and then dismissed by scientists unable to ascribe a suitable theory, the Bunyip remains today as a colourful and intriguing character out of Australia’s past.”

In the not so distant past (2 days ago) at around dusk one evening, I was adventuring in a remote area of Victoria's central goldfields (100 metres from where I now sit) when I stumbled across an isolated body of water (… actually the creek that runs through the middle of town). Not really a large lake, but more like a big damn and sort of big enough for a small row boat... but too small for a small sailing boat... you can't water ski on it. So there I was when out of the water jumped a massive beast that for want of a better term I would describe as being a Bunyip... or maybe it was a big dog having a swim... Now that I think about it, it did look more like a Wallaby... and it wasn't in the water... but at the time and in the half light it was Bunyip like... even though I have no idea what a Bunyip should look like... it was next to the water which is where Bunyips are supposed to live.

So what is a Bunyip?

The bunyip, or kianpraty, is a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks,riverbeds, and waterholes. The origin of the word bunyip has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia. However, the bunyip appears to have formed part of traditional Aboriginal beliefs and stories throughout Australia, although its name varied according to tribal nomenclature. Wikipedia

Yes it is difficult to see a myth and I guess that is why I personally haven't seen a Bunyip or any another mythical beasts and also why the Wallaby that I saw was actually a wallaby and not a Bunyip. I do like the idea that there are those who can comfortably assert that they have seen myths. It's a brave path to travel and this book is a collection of those paths regarding the elusive* Australian Bunyip. The information is mainly historical and I think that what brought this book to my attention is that it is not that often that I find stand alone books about Australian Great Mystery Water Beasts / Myths.

… and you never know, maybe I'm wrong about that Wallaby. Children beware.


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