Organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection


At a place called Baraltja, the Lightning Snake spat out to the clouds, creating lightning from the sea. Biliŋurra, Gamburtja, Meŋurr, Dhuŋugal—these are the names representing where the Lightning Snake lives, in the creek at Baraltja. The snake has special names as well, and they are Djulkapuy, Djulkamay, Mikaraŋ and Burrut’tji. We know this because we often speak of this this story, telling of where it spat out to the clouds and created lightning at the places Baraltja, Mälŋay and Lumatj, and also at a place near Gurka’.


Baraltja is a Maḏarrpa site located in a floodplain region where saltwater and freshwater mix. It is associated with the songline of the lightning serpent, Burrut’tji. The movement of the water at Baraltja excites the serpent and causes it to stand on its tail and spit lightning. The Waŋupini (thunderhead clouds) that appear on the horizon connect the Maḏarrpa clan with the homelands of other clans down the coast. 


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