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Ngiṉṯaka is a giant perentie lizard spirit being of Australian Aboriginal "Dreaming" Creation mythology.


The Ngiṉṯaka is one of several Creation Ancestor Beings of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Western Desert Speaking Original people of Central Australia. It is associated with Angatja, an area along an important Tjukurpa or Dreaming Songline.

It is one of the two great reptiles of Uluru (Ayers Rock), Ngiṉṯaka and Milpali.

Ngiṉṯaka Songline is the major creation story in the Angatja area. Pitjantjatjara land is criss-crossed by the tracks of many Creation Ancestor Beings; the lizard, carpet python, snake, dingo, emu, tjala (honey ant) and maku (witchetty grub), among many others.


(pronounced nin-taka) Also spelled Ngintaku.

Myth Summary[edit]

The story of Ngiṉṯaka is one of theft, vengeance and the uselessness of possessions. The saga is told with the "Inma Ngiṉṯaka", a dance of Ngiṉṯaka's journey of creation that includes a song whose stanzas follow his travels through the land, thus the 500 km trail is called a Songline.

The Ngiṉṯaka Man travelled from his home near the Western Australia border to the camp of another lizard tribe, near Oodnadatta, in search of a special grindstone.

Myth details[edit]

Ngintaka Tjukurpa alatji - paluru ngura parari nyinangi tjiwa wiya, paluru tjiwa kurakuratjara nyinangi munu paluru mai wakati rungkaningi, munu rungkara uninypa uninymankula ngalkuningi.

This is the story of the Perentie Man - he was living in a distant place without a grindstone, he only had a very poor quality grindstone and he was trying to grind the seed from wild pigweed, and he was having to eat these rough seedcakes.

Munu paluru kulinu: "Ay, tjiwa kutjupa ruulmananyi, ruultjinga rungkani ngura parari." Munu kulira paluru mapalku anu ngura kutjupakutu. Munu paluru ankula nyangu, tjiwa palunya. Munu mantjinu, munu kutitlura ngalya-katingu.

And he thought: "Ah, someone is grinding, there is the sound of grinding coming from a long way away." And having heard he quickly travelled to that other place. And he travelled and travelled and then he saw that other grindstone. And he took it, he stole it and carried it back to his camp. As the Ngiṉṯaka travelled he created many landforms in the Musgrave and Mann Ranges and he vomited up many different kinds of grass seeds and vegetable food as he went.


According to the mythology, Mount Woodroffe, the highest mountain in South Australia, is also the Ngiṉṯaka Man as he rears up to look over the country. He is returning to his home in the west. The significance of these cultural routes is central to Pitjantjatjara spiritual connection to land. Each individual is custodian of the land they are born in and the Creation Ancestor who walked and sung that land into being in the beginning. If the land and songline is destroyed people are severed from the core of their being, they get sick and die.

External links[edit]