Aboriginal people tell how giant semi-human
creatures that were created at the beginning of the world
were responsible for all the creeks, hills, gorges and mountains
in Australia. Of these, one of the most beautiful parts of
the Flinders Ranges is lkara (Wilpena Pound), and the most
valuable is the Leigh Creek coalfield.
Long ago there was an old Kingfisher Man called Yurlu who
lived in the west near Kuyani territory. Yurlu journeyed
south from his home at Kakarlpunha (Termination Hill) to
attend an important malkada (corroboree and initiation ceremony)
at Ikara (Wilpena Pound).
On the way, Yurlu lit a big signal fire to let the people
know he was on his way to the ceremony. The charcoal remaining
from this fire formed the coal deposits at Leigh Creek and
several small deposits in other places on the way down. Aboriginal
people called it Yurlu's coal long before white men ever
came into the country.
When Yurlu was passing through Brachina Gorge on his way
down to the ceremony he saw two Akurra (powerful Dreaming
serpents) travelling in the same direction.
Yurlu reached the ceremony, but in the meantime the Akurra
Valadupa (male and female) had entered Ikara through Vira
Warldu (Edeowie Gap). When Yurlu arrived the ceremony was
well under way. Yurlu snatched the firestick from Walha the
wild Turkey Man and threw it up into the sky. This stick
turned into the red star Wildu (Mars).
Akurra came up to the ceremonial ground in whirlwinds and
caught and ate all the people they could find. Yurlu and
Walha managed to escape and flew off southwards. Also managing
to escape were a Wilyara (newly initiated man) and a Vardnapa
(partly initiated man). They both fled eastwards.
The Wilyaru kept on going until he went too far over the
border. Aboriginal people there told him he had come too
far, so he had to turn back towards Mt Chambers.
He kept on travelling until he couldn't go any further. He
stopped south of Mt Chambers. There he turned into a large
rock on the side of a small hill. The rock, reddish-black
in colour, is now known as Wilyaru Rock.
The Vardnapa stopped at a creek near Wirrealpa Station and
transformed into a stoney hill.
The two Akurra were so full after eating the people that
they lay still and willed themselves to death. Their bodies
form the walls of the Pound and it is said that St Mary's
Peak is the head of Ngaarrimudlunha, the female Akurra.