Australian Aboriginal Emu Creation Myth

Emu Constellation

Emu Constellation in Southern Sky

The emu is prominent in Aboriginal mythology. One of my favorites is a creation myth, of which I’ve read many versions. Here is my melded interpretation.

In the Dreamtime, (the time outside of time – where all things can happen at once) emu spirit was a sky-bird that never touched the earth. As emu flew in the heavens she looked down upon the newly created earth and marveled at the beauty. There were rivers, mountains, plants and animals of incredible variety. Yet the earth only had the faint light of the stars as illumination because there was no sun.

Emu thought to herself – there is too much beauty here to be lost in such darkness – and so she sacrificed one of her glorious emerald eggs by tossing it into the sky, then tapping it with her beak. As the egg split in half the golden yoke flew across the sky and became the first sunrise on our world.

Genesis 1:3 – “Let there be light.”     Maybe it was an emu?

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2 Responses to Australian Aboriginal Emu Creation Myth

  1. Ron Toft says:

    I am a UK-based wildlife journalist and researching and writing a book about the world’s national birds, including the emu as Australia’s unofficial avian icon. I shall be spotlighting Aboriginal links with the emu and was fascinated to learn about the emu creation myth. Which of the modern constellations is represented by the Aboriginal emu constellation.
    Do you have any further information about Aboriginal emu links? Many thanks
    Ron Toft
    Winchester, England

    • Ron – the following is actually from wikipedia. Hope it helps.
      “Dark patches in the Milky Way are more visible and striking in the southern hemisphere than in the northern. They vividly stand out when conditions are otherwise so dark that the Milky Way’s central region casts shadows on the ground. Some cultures have discerned shapes in these patches and have given names to these “dark cloud constellations.” Members of the Inca civilization identified various dark areas or dark nebulae in the Milky Way as animals, and associated their appearance with the seasonal rains.[16] Australian Aboriginal astronomy also describes dark cloud constellations, the most famous being the “emu in the sky” whose head is formed by the Coalsack.”

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