Spirit of Place


As far as I know the only place you can see aboriginal rock art in Victoria, Australia is around the Grampians in the north west of the State.   Just west of the country town of Stawell is a place known simply as “Bunjil’s cave”.

On an exposed rocky slope a small rock painting can been seen at the base of the rocky outcrop.   It depicts the Bunjil and his two dingo helpers.    The aboriginal tribes of western Victoria see Bunjil as the creator being who formed the land in the Dreamtime.  In the stories of the Gunditjmara tribes Bunjil went to live in the stars after he finished creating the land.    It is said that he departed the Earth from an offshore island called Deen Maar in south west Victoria.

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While Bunjil took the shape of a man during the Dreamtime he is also embodied in the land.   The extinct volcano now known as Mt Napier represents part of Bunjil’s head in the Dreamtime stories.   This mountain is about 80 k north of Deen Maar.


The spirit of Bunjil is still considered to be a vital spiritual energy that infuses the country of western Victoria.   In many tribal traditions he is said to take the form of an eagle.

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spiralling upwards
eagle over the island
– spirit of place

This post is inspired by the prompt at https://pixtowords.com/2018/04/29/selfie-pic-and-a-word-challenge-138/-“take a Selfie, or find something else to inspire you in this photograph of Aboriginal wall art in Australia’s Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory.”

Ancient Selfie, Aboriginal Art, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia copy


14 thoughts on “Spirit of Place

  1. Pingback: Speed ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #138 – Pix to Words

  2. You’ve created the presence of Bunjil in landscapes that you’ve made familiar to me, both through your photos and through your inspiration to travel the Kanawinka trail. I sounds as if you have an Aboriginal community in touch with its past and its stories. Not quite so much so, I don’t think, where I come from, although I may just not be attuned. (Even as I write this I think of stories I’ve heard over the years, mainly about Gulaga.) That eagle photo captures beautifully the essence of the Dreamtime story from a whitefella’s viewpoint.


    1. Suzanne

      The Gunditj are very strong people. A lot of the information in this post comes from reading information boards and tourist brochures. My understanding of the Dreamtime comes from wider reading – mostly online sources. I often think of that amazing story you sent me via email. One of these days I will get over to that area and write a blog post about the story. It has really captured my imagination. 🙂


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