The snake-woman, Jiningbirna
This site was recorded in 1948, when I visited Groote Eylandt as a member of the Australian and American Arnhem Land Expedition, sponsored by the Oommonwealth Government of Australia and the National Geographic Society of America.
The Myth: In the Aropoia or Dreamtime the mythical snake-woman, Jiningbirna with her four children, came up out of a waterhole, Jininga-madja, on McComb's Point, which separates Hemple and Thompson's bays in Port Langdon. Whilst there, a mythical man, Nanatjua, and his companions tried to capture the woman, but she fled northwards along the beach, taking her children with her. When she reached a lake called Ilarago-madja, which is behind the sand-dunes in the middle of Hemple Bay, she found that two of her four children had been lost during the flight. Jiningbirna, not liking the water in this lake, shifted to a pink-quartzite headland further to the north, named after her. Here she tried to camp, but the rock was too hard wherever she started, and she had to dig out many boulders which she threw in heaps on the ground….