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Eingana: Gods of Aboriginal Australia – Exploring Their Myths and Significance

Eingana is a highly significant figure in Australian Aboriginal mythology, particularly among the Jawoyn people. Often referred to as the “Dreamtime Snake,” this creator goddess is believed to be the mother of all water animals and humans. As a snake goddess of death, Eingana is closely associated with the spiritual realm of the Dreamtime.

In Aboriginal Australia, the concept of the Dreamtime is a fundamental aspect of their culture, encompassing various creation stories and spiritual beliefs. Eingana holds a prominent position among these creation stories, having brought forth all living creatures into existence. The mythology surrounding Eingana provides insight into the rich tapestry of Aboriginal beliefs and their connection to the natural world.

As we delve deeper into the world of Aboriginal mythology, understanding the role of Eingana can help us appreciate the complex and diverse stories that make up the tapestry of their spiritual beliefs. The exploration of Eingana’s legend not only brings us closer to the Aboriginal culture, but also sheds light on the intricate relationship between humans, animals, and the environment in which they coexist.

Origins of Eingana

Eingana is a creator goddess in the rich tapestry of Australian Aboriginal mythology, specifically among the Jawoyn people. Known as the Dreamtime Snake, she holds great significance as the mother of all water animals and humans. Eingana is not only a goddess of creation, but also a snake goddess of death who exists in the Dreamtime, a sacred dimension where time and space are beyond human understanding.

Aboriginal Australian culture is incredibly diverse, consisting of hundreds of different cultural groups. Each group has its own unique set of creation stories, with Eingana playing a central role among the Jawoyn people. While many different origin stories or Dreamtime stories exist, all of these narratives share a common thread: the belief that every person exists eternally within the Dreamtime.

It’s important to note that Eingana shouldn’t be confused with the Rainbow Snake, another significant deity in Aboriginal Australian mythology. As the primordial Mother Goddess, Eingana’s association with Dreamtime and the creation of humans and water animals sets her apart. Her unique position in this ancient belief system highlights the profound respect and reverence the Jawoyn people have for both life and death.

In summary, Eingana serves as a powerful symbol of creation and death in Aboriginal Australian mythology. By examining her role among the Jawoyn people, we can gain a greater understanding of their spiritual beliefs and the importance of origin stories in the rich cultural fabric of Australia.

Eingana in Aboriginal Mythology

Creation Stories

Eingana, as known in the Jawoyn Aboriginal mythology, is hailed as a creator goddess. She is often referred to as the “Dreamtime Snake.” The Dreamtime consists of a collection of stories that represent the creation of the world, which is central to Australian Aboriginal mythology.

Eingana’s Role and Symbolism

Eingana is believed to be the mother of all water animals and humans. As a snake goddess of death, she plays a vital role in the cycle of life and death. Eingana symbolizes creation and transition, making her an essential figure in the spiritual beliefs of the Aboriginal communities. Her presence in Dreamtime stories reinforces the interconnectedness of all living beings in the world.

Cultural Significance

Rituals and Ceremonies

Eingana, as a creator goddess, holds a significant position within the Australian Aboriginal culture. Many rituals and ceremonies revolve around worshiping and honoring her. These customs serve to connect the community with their ancestral beings and the natural world.

Artistic Representations

Aboriginal art often features depictions of Eingana, as she is considered the mother of all water animals and humans. These representations typically portray her in the shape of a snake, symbolizing both her creation and death aspects. Regarding artistic styles, Aboriginal paintings, rock engravings, and sculptures can be found showing Eingana in various forms.

Oral Traditions

Eingana’s influence is also evident in the rich oral traditions of the Aboriginal culture. These stories, passed down from generation to generation, provide essential guidance and wisdom for daily life. As a key figure in the Dreamtime narrative, Eingana offers a unique glimpse into the spiritual identity and heritage of the Aboriginal people.

Regional Variations

Central Australia

In Central Australia, Eingana is perceived as a powerful creator goddess. She is often associated with the Dreamtime Snake and is believed to be the mother of all water animals and humans. Sacred beliefs hold that she is a snake goddess of death who lives in the Dreamtime, a spiritual realm that exists alongside the physical world.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is home to the Jawoyn people, who particularly revere Eingana. They believe that she holds the fates of all living beings, as every creature’s life thread is connected to her. It’s crucial for Eingana’s life force to remain strong since legend has it that if she were to let go of the life thread, death would meet any individual whose thread is released.

Western Australia

While there aren’t specific reports connecting Eingana worship in Western Australia, Aboriginal spirituality and mythology often share similar threads across various regions. For example, serpent beings pop up in many creation stories throughout the continent. It wouldn’t be surprising if, to some extent, Eingana or similar deities were acknowledged in Western Australia, though specific details and variations may differ.

Comparative Mythology

Similar Deities in Other Cultures

Eingana, the creator goddess in the Australian Aboriginal mythology (specifically: Jawoyn), is known as the “Dreamtime Snake” and the mother of all water animals and humans1. In Hinduism, Nāga serves as a serpent deity, often protecting treasures or sacred sites2. The Greek mythology features Typhon, a monstrous serpentine giant and the offspring of Gaia and Tartarus3.

Influence on Modern Thought

In contemporary society, Eingana has inspired various artistic expressions. For instance, she has been featured in paintings that depict Australian Aboriginal culture4. Additionally, the symbol of the serpent is common in literature and psychology, where it is used to represent transformation, life cycles, and the collective unconscious5.


Contemporary Relevance

Aboriginal Spirituality Today

Aboriginal spirituality centers around the concept of the Dreamtime, an era in which ancestral spirits shaped the world and established traditions. In modern times, Eingana continues to hold significance in Aboriginal society, as she represents the bond between humans, animals, and the natural environment. Many Indigenous Australians still practice traditional ceremonies and rituals, honoring their ancestral gods, including Eingana.

Eingana in Popular Culture

Eingana’s influence has also reached popular culture, as her story inspires art, literature, and other forms of creative expression. For instance, the mythical “Dreamtime Snake” serves as a motif in Aboriginal paintings and artworks. Furthermore, Eingana has been mentioned or referred to in various books, documentaries, and media, which aim to educate people about the rich heritage of Australian Aboriginal culture.

By maintaining a presence in both spirituality and popular culture, Eingana continues to be a symbol of creation, respecting the environment, and embracing the power of ancestry.


  1. Eingana – Wikipedia

  2. Nāga – Wikipedia

  3. Typhon – Wikipedia

  4. Art and Symbolism of Australian Aboriginal Culture

  5. Carl Jung and the Symbolism of Serpents