Umbarra (Black Duck)

This next story is about Umbarra the Black Duck, which is the totem of the Yuin nation.

Back in the old days, when the people used to live around here, a lad named Merriman had his totem called Umbarra the Black Duck. Umbarra warned Merriman everywhere he went of the danger. How he did it was he fluttered. The Black Duck fluttered and he dived down into the water and made splashes. When Merriman, the old man, saw that bird doing that, he knew that there was danger coming.

One day, all the tribe was out getting a feed of fish, bimbullas and djungas. Merriman spotted Umbarra and he was going off his head. He was diving in the water, splashing about, ruffling his feathers up and so Merriman knew there was some people coming.

He told all the people to get all the women and children. He put them in the canoes and he sent them out to the island, Merriman’s Island. All the women and children, and the Elders, went out there.

All the warriors were around the lakeside waiting for these other fellas. They were coming here to steal the women. The night came and those fellas came. They were sneaking up and, as they were getting nearer, the Black Duck he warned the people. When they came and tried to go to the island where all the people were, all the warriors on there kept them off from invading that land and taking the women.

That’s why we’re still here today, because Umbarra the Black Duck saved us.

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