Den of Nargun 2

Dave Callaway

Somerville, Australia

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Artist's Description

Another view of the Den of Nargun, taken on one of those days, with my trusty Fisheye Lens….lol… "Mitchell River National Park, East Gipsland, Victoria, Australia.
Please view Large

Camera – Olympus E-5
Lens – Zuiko 8mm Fisheye
Focal Length – 8mm
Shutter – 1/80sec
Aperture – F3.5
ISO – 200
Crop + Minor Tone Curve Adjustment
Plastic bottle removal with wireworm (Bloody Tourists)

Den of Nargun

According to Gunai/Kurnai tribal legends, the Nargun is a fierce half-human half-stone creature that lived in the Den of Nargun, a cave under a rock overhang behind a small waterfall in the Mitchell River National Park, Victoria, Australia. Aboriginal legend describes the Nargun as a beast that was all stone except for its hands, arms and breast. The fierce creature would drag unwary travellers into its den, and any weapon directed against it would be turned back on its owner.1

The cave where the Nargun lived, called the Den of Nargun, is found on Woolshed Creek, a small tributary of the Mitchell River in the Mitchell River National Park, about one kilometre upstream from where the creek joins the river. The existence of the cave was first recorded by Alfred Howitt.2 After heavy rainfall, the opening of the cave may be hidden by a waterfall, which has excavated a pool at its base.2 The den was once rimmed with stalactites, but unfortunately these have been broken off as souvenirs by visitors over the years. Smaller stalactites may still exist inside the cave.

The area is a site of Aboriginal historical importance, and is located on the Batuluk Aboriginal Cultural Trail.23 Stories were told around aboriginal campfires about how the Nargun would abduct children who visited the rockpool. It was said the Nargun could not be harmed with boomerangs or spears, as they would be reflected back to the thrower. These stories served the dual purpose of a cautionary tale to keep children close to the campsite, and away from the sacred cave. The Den of Nargun was considered a special place for women of the Gunai tribe, and in reality was used for women’s initiation and learning ceremonies rather than being the lair of any predator.

Artwork Comments

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