Dthuwan-Gong Picture

Indigenous Australian myth is weird, at least by European standards.

There's virtually no legends that don't explain how some feature of the landscape, or some aspect of a plant or animal, was formed. Even in the ones which would not seem to lend themselves to being creation stories, there is at least always one part which is an explanation for how something is.

Mythological creatures are also unusual in that there's not much detail on them. In many cases, this is undoubtedly due to no-one recording them outside of human memory. However, there are also some which simply lack much detail. Also unlike the monsters of classical Greco-Roman myth, these creatures don't tend to be guarding treasure or places, and neither are they defeated by great heroes.

The Dthuwan-Gong is one such creature. I found a mention of it in a book about the aborigines of Sydney before colonisation. It described it as a winged creature which extinguished fires, killed people, and ate their livers. This is both unusually specific-why only livers?-and also somewhat vague. How does it extinguish fires? Why does it kill people? What does it look like?

Of course, such vague details leave these creatures open to interpretation.
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