Daramulum

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In several of the Aboriginal cultures of South-East Australia such as Wiradyuri, Kamilaroi, Eora, Darkinjung, and Guringai, Daramulum (“one legged”) is a son of Baiame and his emu-wife Birrahgnooloo.

He is often depicted in Sydney Rock Engravings in semi-profile, with one arm, an emu-back (i.e. pointed buttocks), and a club foot. He is often shown close to an emu, which may be his totem, or may be related to his emu ancestry. He has the ability to change his appearance from that of a huge giant to that of a small animal or bird.

His voice can be heard through the medium of the bullroarer which is whirled through the air during initiation ceremonies. He now lives in the trees of the bush, particularly in the burls or growths which are found on the trunks of trees, and only leaves them for initiation ceremonies. The bullroarer must be cut from a tree which contains his spirit for it to work.

The name is better rendered Dharramaalan (dharra 'leg, thigh' + maal 'one' + -an suffix). The "dh" is a dental consonant, pronounced like the 'd-th' in English "hid them". In the Sydney region it is often spelt Daramulan. It is also spelt Dhurramoolun.


References

  • "Footprints on Rock", 1997, Sydney: Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. ISBN 0 7313 1002 0
  • "The Burbung of the Darkinung Tribes", 1897, Matthews, R.H., Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 10, 1: 1-12


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