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In Australian aboriginal mythology, Kunapipi is a mother goddess and the patron deity of many heroes. She gave birth to human beings as well as to most animals and plants, and Mother Goddess and patron deity of many heroes. Now a vague, otiose, spiritual being, "the old woman" once travelled across the land with a band of heroes and heroines, and during the ancestral period she gave birth to men and women as well as creating the natural species. She could transform herself either into a male or female version of the Rainbow snake.

Origins and diffusion[edit]

The Kunapipi cult seems to have arisen among tribes in the Roper and Rose River areas, and gradually spread north-east into Arnhem Land, where it existed as a complementary masculine form with Djanggawul, a female figure.[1]



  1. ^ Berndt 1974, p. 4.


  • Berndt, R. M. (1974). Australian Aboriginal Religion. Volume 3. Brill.