Melville Island, Northern Territory, Australia. The Tiwi Indigenous people have occupied their remote islands found 80 km off the top of the the country’s landmass for an estimated 20,000 years. Their culture developed in relative isolation, making them very distinct from their mainland Aboriginal counterparts.
Tiwi legends, passed down through the generations in story, song, dance, sculpture and painting, tell of the Dreamtime creation of the the islands by Mudangkala, a blind female woman. Mudangkala
came from the earth with three babies in her arms. She crawled across the dark, unformed landscape, and the seawater followed the imprints left by her body. This created the islands and the straits between them. Mudangkala then populated the islands with plants and living creatures. Lastly she prepared the land for her children, from whom the Tiwi people descend.
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