The Nargun and the Stars, a children's book-turned-TV-serial, introduced a generation of Australian children to the wondrous creatures of the Dreamtime.
The Nargun and the Stars tells the story of Simon, an orphan who arrives at his cousins’ remote farm, and the Nargun – a huge, living rock from the beginning of time, woken from an age-old sleep.
The farm is a place of ancient secrets inhabited by amazing Indigenous mythical creatures. Simon soon meets Potkoorok (the land’s water creature), the Turongs (tree people) and the Nyols (rock people), and finds himself in a life and death struggle with the terrifying Nargun.
Wrightson used the legend of the Nargun to inspire her story. According to Gunai (Kurnai) legends, the Nargun is a large female creature who lives in a cave behind a waterfall in the Mitchell River.
Stories were told around campfires about how the Nargun would abduct children who wandered off on their own. The Nargun could not be harmed with boomerang or spears.
These stories served the dual purpose of keeping children close to the campsite and ensuring that people stayed away from the sacred cave. The Den of Nargun was a special place for women and may have been used for women's initiation and learning ceremonies.
Thanks to CFZ's Richard Freeman for bringing this one to our attention.
If anyone out there has the TV serial on an old VHS tape, or has a converted copy on DVD, we'd love to hear from you!