Yugam Bunyip

Product Code: YUG6ZFCC67


Yugam Bunyip

This painting is called “Yugam-Bunyip” and this story is a Kombumerri love story that has been passed down from generation to generation of the Yugambeh people about the bunyip. After being told many versions of this story this painting represents my interpretation of this ancient spiritual love story.

In my painting this story was told by the Totem Bird the Nankeen Night Heron whom saw the events happen.

A young Kombumerri maiden was walking by the lagoon when Bunyip saw her and her lover. She was so beautiful, that Bunyip became obsessed and stole her for himself and spirited her away from the tribe.

She became so sad and miserable she cried filling all the hollows in the land with her tears, which became lakes of water.

Bunyip felt so bad for the grief he had caused the girl, the Kombumerri people and the flooding of the land with her tears, he turned her into the most beautiful blue lily “Moyim”.

Yimbin her lover was so sad he cried and in his grief he cried over the water, as his tears fell over the water, the bunyip reached up and grabbed him and pulled him in – changing him to the bull rush.

Only on the full moon her beautiful black shining body is released from the lily and her spirit reaches as tall as the trees and searches the swamps and lakes for her lover.

When the breeze blows the bull rushes on the full moon the sounds of his callings whisper across the swamps summoning her spirit out from the lily to be re-united again.

Also in my painting the Kombumerri maiden cried so much which is represented by the dots around the outside of the painting that she filled up the five waterholes which also represents the five waterholes where the bunyip lived.

The campsite and elder in my painting represents another encounter with the bunyip which is below!

We were camping out at Tamrookum and we heard a big scream.

We thought it was one of the girls.

The men ran toward the water and as they did, one of the girls returned screaming there was something in the water.

The men were looking for the bunyip. When they returned from the dam they carrying a handful of black dirty, smelly fur matted with twigs and leaves.

Everyone was excited – they were yelling out in lingo, as they now had the Bunyips fur and could blow his curse back to him. (When you have someone’s hair or fur, you have the power to make magic!)

One of the Elders took the fur and blew on it, then threw it into the fire.  The group was safe for the night.

The rock and air bubbles at the bottom of the painting represents the plug that locals believed would release the bunyip if it was pulled out and the piercing eyes, claws and rocks represent the following story!

The area was very rocky, we knew he was there – we were very mindful when walking past in the evening, so as not to disturb him.  Once we reached the rocks we wouldn’t talk, only whisper. We didn’t want to be taken and never see our family again. Bunyips were territorial, and not in human form. Something ominous!

The several ripples in the painting represent the bunyip moving in the water and the white spirit trails and community symbols around the edge of the painting represent the many stories from the different communities that have been passed down from generation to generation and they also connect the Yugambeh people to their lands and dreamtime stories for all time.

Let all who see this painting and read this story know that Aboriginal history and culture is timeless and as old as time itself.

Size – 122cm wide X 152cm high.


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