Something Slumbers in the Mountains

This work is a tribute to the mythical beasts the Bunyip (The creature has its roots in Aboriginal oral history. In parts of Queensland, they are known as quinkin (or as a type of quinkin), and as joogabinna,[1] in parts of New South Wales they are called Ghindaringjurrawarramyngawinputtikandoolagagulaga and thoolagal.[1]) that are said to now live across the Great dividing range and as follows is the story i was told as a young kid about the Bunjil and the Medicine man, the origin story of the 3 sisters at Echo Point Blue Mountains.

Something Slumbers in the Mountains 2019. Acrylic on Canvas 124cm x 200cm

Three sisters, Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo had a father who was a witch doctor. His name was Tyawan.

Long ago there was a Bunyip who lived in a deep hole who was feared by all.

Passing the hole was considered very dangerous, therefore whenever Tyawan had to pass the hole in search for food, he would leave his daughters safely on the cliff behind a rocky wall.

One fateful day, Tyawan waved goodbye to his daughters and descended down the cliff steps into the valley.

Meanwhile at the top of the cliff, Meenhi was frightened by a large centipede which suddenly appeared before her. Meenhi took a stone and threw it at the centipede. The stone continued on its journey and rolled over the cliff, crashing into the valley below which angered the Bunyip.

Drawing of the Three sisters

The rocky wall behind Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo then began to split open and the three sisters were left stranded on a thin ledge at the top of the cliff. All the birds, animals and fairies stopped still as the Bunyip emerged to see the terrified girls.

As the Bunyip began to approach the girls, to protect them from harm, their father Tyawan used his magic bone to turn them into stone.

Angered by this, the Bunyip then began to chase Tyawan. Becoming trapped, in order to flee from the Bunyip, Tyawan changed into a magnificent Lyre Bird, yet in the process dropped his magic bone. Tyawan and his three daughters were now safe from the Bunyip.

Once the Bunyip had disappeared, Tyawan returned in search of his magic bone, yet this was never to be found.

The Lyre Bird has been searching for this magic bone ever since. Remaining in rock formation, The Three Sisters stand silently overlooking the valley hoping that one day he’ll find the bone and turn them back to their former selves.

When visiting The Three Sisters, if you listen carefully you may be able to hear the Lyre Bird, Tyawan, as he continues his quest for his lost magic bone.

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