THE MAKING OF FIRE (WANAPI)

 

Long ago there was no fire; only the water rat (Murembin) had fire. Murembin would dig out his home in the river bank and he would make an underground passage to his home and make a fire there.

One day a spark escaped from Murembin’s fire and smouldered on the dry reeds of the Cumbungi above. The Brown Hawk (Gergera) who was looking for Murembin caught his tail on the spark of the dry Cumbungi reed and spread fire over everywhere he flew.

The fire was huge and burnt all the grass and the trees. Some birds which had escaped the fire did not know of the hot ashes and the coals that were left on the ground and hurt their feet. You can see the evidence of this today; as those birds now have webbed feet.

Mutthi Mutthi people used the coals left to cook their meat and once they had tasted cooked meat it also instilled in them the knowledge of how to make their own fire, whenever they wanted.

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