In some Australian Aboriginal cultures1 Daramulum is a relation of the Creator God and Sky Father Baiame. He is most often said to be the son of Baiame and his wife Birrahgnooloo (who is generally described as being an emu), but in some traditions he is Baiame's brother. In either case, he is an important deity, but by Western standards, a silly-looking one.

Daramulum is generally depicted as half man, half emu; his torso and head are fully humanoid, but he has the legs and tail (and enlarged rear-end) of an emu. He is reportedly modeled or drawn with only one arm and one club foot, although it is unclear if this was meant to be a literal representation of any actual physical limitations. His name does mean 'one legged', although as he has the ability to change his appearance, this may be only an occasional affliction.

Oh, it may be a bit late to tell you this... But females and children should not be reading about Daramulum, or even seeing his name. He is spoken of only among the males, being an important part of the male initiation rites, and he is primarily invoked at the initiation site. Even if you not been initiated into the secrets of male spirituality2, you will still recognize Daramulum as the one they call papang ('father') or biambam ('master'). However, you will never have seen him in drawing or in clay figures, as such items are created only for specific ceremonies and destroyed immediately thereafter, and the pieces scattered.

Daramulum is often said to be the god of the sky, along with Baiame, although it is perhaps more exact to say that he is the god of thunder and rain. Ceremonies invoking him involve the use of a bull roarer, to make the sound of thunder3. He is often associated with figures of an emu, although the exact significance of the emu in ceremonial contexts remains unclear to the Western world.

Daramulum is also frequently spelled Daramulan or Dhurramoolun.



Footnotes:

1. Particularly the Wiradyuri, Kamilaroi, Eora, Darkinjung, and Guringai peoples of South-East Australia.

2. You may wonder how, if all of this is supposed to be a secret, do we know about it? Well, anthropologists are sneaky folk. But even so, I would take this information with a grain of salt; important information may have been left out or even fabricated, which could make invoking Daramulum even more dangerous than is usually the case when working with strange gods. For the purpose of this writeup, I accepted only two sources as reasonably reliable: Patterns in Comparative Religion by Mircea Eliade, and Wikipedia. All other sources were mostly ignored, at least in so far as deep religious secrets were concerned.

3. Not to be confused with Wambeen, an evil being that hunts humans with lightning bolts.

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