Baiame

related topics
{god, call, give}
{@card@, make, design}
{land, century, early}
{album, band, music}
{woman, child, man}
{church, century, christian}
{language, word, form}
{line, north, south}
{law, state, case}

Baiame (Baayami or Baayama) is a creational ancestral hero in the dreaming of several language groups (e.g. Kamilaroi, Eora, Darkinjung, and Wiradjuri), of Indigenous Australians of South-East Australia.

Description and history

The Baiame myth tells how Baiame came down from the sky to the land, and created rivers, mountains, and forests. He then gave the people their laws of life, traditions, songs, and culture. He also created the first initiation site. This is known as a bora; a place where boys were initiated into manhood. When he had finished, he returned to the sky, and people called him the Sky Hero or All Father.

He is said to be married to Birrahgnooloo (Birran-gnulu), who is often identified as an emu, and with whom he has a son Daramulum (Dharramalan). In other stories Daramulum is said to be brother to Baiame.

It was forbidden to mention or talk about the name of Baiame publicly. Women were not allowed to see drawings of Baiame nor approach Baiame sites—which are often male initiation sites (boras).

In rock paintings Baiame is often depicted as a human figure with a large head-dress or hairstyle, with lines of footsteps nearby. He is always painted in front view; Daramulum is drawn in profile. Baiame is often shown with internal decorations such as waistbands, vertical lines running down the body, bands and dots. The dots are said to have given him power over smallpox.

A famous Wiradjuri rock painting near Singleton depicts him with enormous, long, arms and large staring eyes.

The missionary William Ridley adopted the name of Baiame for the Christian God when translating into Gamilaraay (the language of the Kamilaroi).

It is sometimes suggested that Baiame was a construct of early Christian missionaries. Doubt is cast on this by a reference [1] to Baiame apparently dating back to 1830-1840 by K Langloh Parker.

See also

References

  • "Footprints on Rock", 1997, Sydney: Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. ISBN 0 7313 1002 0

Full article ▸

related documents
Ephrath
8th century BC
Abandinus
Molten Sea
Orthrus
Goldberry
Xerxes I of Persia
Bodb Derg
Phorcys
Quaoar (mythology)
Hellen
Annar
Nereid
Bergelmir
Death (Tarot card)
Lí Ban
Hosea
Moreh
Auraka
Scamander
Damballa
Ayizan
Candaon
Phlegyas
Tinia
Donn
Hygelac
Eshu
Hunab Ku
White elephant