Ungud, also known as the Rainbow Serpent, is a significant deity in the mythologies of various Aboriginal cultures across Australia. Regarded as a primordial being, Ungud is believed to have existed since the Dreamtime, the era of creation. As the Rainbow Serpent, Ungud plays a vital role in shaping the landscape and maintaining the natural order.
Ungud’s legends and attributes may vary among different Aboriginal cultures. In some traditions, it is regarded as a creator deity, responsible for forming the landscape and establishing the laws and customs of human society. In other accounts, Ungud is associated with specific geographical locations or is believed to inhabit certain water sources.
Depictions of Ungud often portray it as a colossal serpent with a long, winding body. Its scales shimmer with vibrant colors, resembling the hues of the rainbow. The serpent’s size and power are emphasized, symbolizing its connection to primal forces and the life-giving essence of water. Ungud is often associated with waterholes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Powers & Duties
As the Rainbow Serpent, Ungud possesses immense powers related to water, fertility, and creation. It is believed to control the life-giving properties of water, enabling the flow of rivers, the filling of waterholes, and the renewal of the land. Ungud’s movements across the landscape are associated with the cycles of rain, ensuring the sustenance and growth of plants, animals, and humans.
Several symbols are associated with Ungud, each representing its significance and influence. The rainbow, with its diverse colors spanning the sky, is the primary symbol associated with Ungud. It represents the serpentine form of the deity and the transformative power of water. Water itself, along with flowing rivers and waterholes, symbolizes Ungud’s connection to life, fertility, and the cyclical nature of existence.
Worship of Ungud often involves ceremonies and rituals that honor its power and seek its blessings for fertility, abundance, and the overall well-being of the community. Aboriginal communities conduct rituals near waterholes, rivers, or other significant locations associated with Ungud. These ceremonies typically include storytelling, dance, and song to express gratitude and maintain a harmonious relationship with the Rainbow Serpent.