The Rainbow Serpent is a common motif in the art and mythology of Aboriginal Australia. It is seen as the inhabitant of permanent waterholes and is in control of life's most precious resource, oils and waters.
Dreamtime stories tell of the great spirits and totems during creation, in animal and human form they moulded the barren and featureless earth. The Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges at it pushed upward.
The Serpent is known both as a benevolent protector of its people (the groups from the country around) and as a malevolent punisher of law breakers. The Rainbow Serpent's mythology is closely linked to land, water, life, social relationships and fertility. There are innumerable names and stories associated with the serpent, all of which communicate the significance and power of the being with Aboriginal traditions.