Our Kingfisher Logo

Paying homage to Yurlu the kingfisher

Yurlu the Kingfisher

The Wilpena Pound Resort Logo pays homage to Yurlu the kingfisher. The Dreaming journey of Yurlu the old kingfisher man to Ikara (Wilpena Pound) is an extremely important part of Adnyamathanha culture.

The Kingfisher Story

Yurlu journeyed south from his home at Karkalpunha (Termination Hill) to attend an important malkada (corroboree and initiation ceremony) at Ikara. On the way, Yurlu made a big signal fire. The smoke was a sign that he was on his way to the ceremony. His fire created the coal at Leigh Creek and at other places where he lit fires on the way.

At the same time, two Akurra (powerful serpents) set out from Arrunha Akurra Awl (now covered by Aroona Dam) to travel south to Ikara (Wilpena Pound). The Akurra Valadupa (male and female) entered Ikara through Vira Warldu (Edeowie Gap) and camped at Akurra Awl, a large waterhole.

The people looked up and saw bright stars rising. They took this as a sign to start the ceremony. They didn't realise that the stars were actually the eyes of the Akurra looking down at them.

When Yurlu the kingfisher arrived, the ceremony was well under way. Yurlu snatched the firestick from Walha the turkey and threw it up into the sky. This stick turned into the red star Wildu (Mars). The two Akurra came up on either side of the ceremonial ground in whirlwinds and caught and ate the people.

Only four escaped - the two initiates (Vardnapa ~ the new Vardnapa, and Yakamburu ~ the new Wilyaru), Walha the turkey and Yurlu the kingfisher.

Walha and Yurlu flew off south and the two initiates fled eastwards, watched by the Akurra. The bodies of the two Akurra form the sides of Wilpena Pound.