The Djanggawul are in Australian mythology, primeval beings, two sisters and a brother and their companion Bralbral, who traveled across the earth. The Djanggawul brother is depicted as coming ashore on Arnhem Land, his face covered with sea foam. Always pregnant by their brother, the two sisters peopled the land, teaching various rituals and customs to the people.

At first the two sisters had elongated genitals, embodying both male and female aspects. However, their brother cut off the “excess,” making them proper women according to the myth. This belief is used to explain why men now control the sacred ceremonies that were once believed to have been the property of women alone.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante