A Journey to Heaven: Burrumarra’s Return to Gulirra

Ian S. McIntosh


David Burrumarra died at Elcho Island on October 21, 1994 at the age of 77. His extensive dialogue with the author has been covered in Australian Folklore and elsewhere. This article covers the events and discussions surrounding the elderly Burrumarra’s return to what had been his childhood paradise in order to die there. It addresses the differences between the mythic power of the place and the reality of its present appearance. Burrumarra’s reaction, and then his decision, opens the way for a reconfiguring and then reinforcement of the myths.


Folkloristics; Mythology; Religion;

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