In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Baiame (or Biame, Baayami, Baayama or Byamee) was the creator god and "Sky Father" in the Dreaming of several Aboriginal Australian peoples of south-eastern Australia, such as the Wonnarua, Kamilaroi, Eora, Darkinjung, and Wiradjuri peoples.
Description and historyEdit
The Baiame story tells how Baiame came down from the sky to the land and created rivers, mountains, and forests. He then gave the people their laws of life, traditions, songs, and culture. He also created the first initiation site. This is known as a bora; a place where boys were initiated into manhood. When he had finished, he returned to the sky and people called him the Sky Hero or All Father or Sky Father.
He is said to be married to Birrahgnooloo (Birran-gnulu), who is often identified as an emu, and with whom he has a son Daramulum (Dharramalan). In other stories Daramulum is said to be brother to Baiame.
It was forbidden to mention or talk about the name of Baiame publicly. Women were not allowed to see drawings of Baiame nor approach Baiame sites—which are often male initiation sites (boras).
In rock paintings Baiame is often depicted as a human figure with a large head-dress or hairstyle, with lines of footsteps nearby. He is always painted in front view; Daramulum is drawn in profile. Baiame is often shown with internal decorations such as waistbands, vertical lines running down the body, bands and dots.
Link with the Christian GodEdit
The missionary William Ridley adopted the name of Baiame for the Christian God when translating into Gamilaraay (the language of the Kamilaroi). It is sometimes suggested that Baiame was a construct of early Christian missionaries, but K Langloh Parker dated belief in Baiame to (at latest) 1830, prior to missionary activity in the region.
Portrayal in the Lake Macquarie AreaEdit
In the area surrounding Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia, he was believed to have created all of the mountains, lakes, rivers and caves in the area. After he finished creating, he jumped back up to the spirit world from Mount Yengo, which he flattened. Its flat top can still be seen to this day, near Wollombi Valley. A cave near Milbrodale contains many Wonnarua Aboriginal paintings, including a large figure of a man who may be Baiame. It is popularly known as the Baiame Cave and is part of a series of rock shelters on an area of 80 hectares. The site is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is considered a sacred site.
- Baglin, Douglass; Mullins, Barbara (1986). Aboriginal Art of Australia. Marleston, S.A.: Mulavon. p. 11.
- Popp, T & N; Walker, Bill (1997). Footprints on Rock. Redfern, N.S.W.: Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. ISBN 0-7313-1002-0.
- Parker, K. Langloh (1905). . The Euahlayi Tribe: A Study of Aboriginal Life in Australia (1st ed.). London: Archibald Constable and Company. pp. 4–10.
- Wright.T- Belongs the Kamilaroi people[clarification needed]
- NSW National Parks. "Yengo National Park: Learn more". NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. NSW Government. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- "Aboriginal History". Wollombi Valley. Wollombi Valley Chamber of Commerce. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.
- Australian Heritage Commission; Bilney, Elizabeth (1981). The Heritage of Australia. South Melbourne, Vic.: Macmillan. p. 2/211.
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