Jowra Waterhole

Jowra Hole

Jowra Waterhole

Grandma says they never went past this “jowra” waterhole “ngagu” in the Beatrice River tributary of the North Johnstone River. The old people camped in a small cave “dinggan” up the top of a steep hill overlooking this deep waterhole. Grandma and her “muynggalgan” eldest sister Mabel and her “jaman”, younger sister Lorna had to be careful climbing up to the camp “mija”. Their Grandad Paddy/Duginyoh told the girls they must never fall into this “jowra” waterhole because the turtle “banggurru” (or it might be the bigger one “wurrigay”) would take them down to the bottom of this “jowra” to “Yamani”, our name for the Rainbow Serpent Ancestral Being residing in the landscape. “Yarmani” is also the word for rainbow, as well as for a long thin worm creature living in freshwater. When Yarmani is about the Ancestral Being it’s strong and powerful story. I’m told that in the 1970s Grandma’s Auntie Winnie/Chiperrooh also talked about “Yamani” in this place.
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