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Marion Holton, Birpai and Nardja Carter, Birpai

MARION HOLTON: I'm here to tell you about the mythology of the Three Brothers Mountains as told to me by my elders, passed down to them for generations. It's a mythology story which was used as a teaching aid. So I'll hand the story over to my eldest granddaughter.

NARDJA CARTER: So now I'm going to tell all of you kids so that when you guys grow up, you can tell the story as well.

When the land was flat there was a large lake whose spirit was the mother of three brothers. Dooragan, the eldest, Mooragan, the middle son and Booragan was the youngest son. Booragan had more favour in his mother's eyes than his siblings.

As part of their initiation, the brothers were fostered out to the other clans among the Birpai nation. Dooragan was fostered out to the Stingray People in the north, Point Plomer. Mooragan to the Crab People, also in the north at Lake Cathie. And Booragan to the Shark People of the south, at Harrington.

On their way north, Dooragan tried to persuade Mooragan to help him kill their youngest brother so that he might find more favour in his mother's eyes. Mooragan refused. But this didn't stop Dooragan fleeing to the south to kill Booragan.

The Willie Wagtail saw what had happened and upon telling the brothers' mother, she got very angry and killed the two brothers for murdering Booragan.

When the great spirit Eagle heard what he happened, he became very angry. As punishment for the mother, he turned the three brothers into mountains. Booragan into the mountain to the south. Mooragan into the middle Mountain and Dooragan into the mountain to the north, dividing his mother's domain into two, which is now known as Watson Taylor Lake and Queens Lake. Also, as punishment for the mother's actions, he turned the mother into the Comboyne Mountain, so that she would forever look over her sons, the Three Brothers, and know her wrongdoings.

MARION HOLTON: The moral to this story is: favouritism leads to jealousy which then leads to wrongdoings. Don't jump to conclusions — and that's why the mother was punished, because she jumped to conclusion and murdered the innocent son. Because of the mother's actions, women are not allowed to go up on North Brother Mountain.

View the Three Brothers Mountains video

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