Ngaut Ngaut – An Ancestral Being
Ngaut Ngaut is an ancestral being. Beliefs and Dreaming stories about Ngaut Ngaut are complex and at times Ngaut Ngaut is described as either a man or a woman. People in the Aboriginal community today may also refer to Ngaut Ngaut as a demon or a fire demon.
One Dreaming story about Ngaut Ngaut tells of a half overgrown or giant-like man who lived at a place called Witjawitj. Witjawitj is a rock hole where Aboriginal people would collect water as they traveled between Nildottie and Loxton (to trade and attend ceremonies). Records indicate that this water source provided fresh water until the government or farmers put down a bore and ‘broke’ it by making the water salty. The country where Ngaut Ngaut lived may also be referred to as Ngaut Ngaut or Witjawitj country.
Witjawitj is also an ancestral being. He is believed to be powerful and is feared. The term Witjawitj may also refer to the ‘small people’ or ‘small beings’ who live in Ngarkat country (located east of Ngaut Ngaut).
Another Dreaming story about Ngaut Ngaut talks of a one-legged woman who steals children if they wander out into the bush alone. Dreaming stories like this are still told to children to keep them safe but they also hold a much deeper meaning.