Dreamtime Story - Thukeri

This Dreamtime story is about two men who lived on the shores of Lake Alexandrina. They belonged to the Aboriginal Ngarrindjerri people.

The two men set out one day in their canoe to go fishing and paddled along on the calm waters until they came to their favourite fishing place - Loveday Bay, where they always caught the best bream fish. In their language, the fish is called Thukeri.

The fishermen made their own fishing lines, called nungi, from thin rope which they had made from the nearby water reeds. They also made hooks from very sharp bird bones.

Back on shore, the women were collecting vegetable plants to eat with the fish when they got home.

The two men caught more and more fat, juicy Thukeri until the canoe was almost full. As they returned to shore they could see a stranger in the distance; what if this stranger wanted some of their beautiful, juicy Thukeri, they thought to themselves.

Greed took over their thoughts and the fishermen decided not to share with the stranger. They decided to keep the Silver Bream all for themselves and quickly covered the fish up so that the stranger would not see them. The stranger said, 'Hello, brothers. I haven't had anything at all to eat today. Could you spare me a couple of fish?'

One of the fishermen said, 'I'm sorry my friend, but we caught only a few fish  and we have to take them home for our wives and children and the old people. So we can't give you any.'

The stranger said 'You lied,'  'I know that you have caught plenty of fish and they are in your canoe. Because you are so greedy and want to keep them all for yourselves, you will never be able to enjoy those Thukeri ever again.'

The two men were puzzled, and began to gut the fish. But as they did this, they found that these beautiful silver Thukeri that they had caught were so full of sharp, thin bones that they just couldn't eat them after all.

'What are we going to do? they said to each other. We can't take these home to our families, they'll choke on all the sharp thin bones.' So the fishermen returned home in shame with only the bony fish to offer their families.  The old people told the fishermen that the stranger was really the Great Spirit called Ngurunderi. Now all the Ngarrindjeri people would be punished for ever, because of the greedy actions of the two fishermen .

So even today, whenever people catch a bony bream fish, they are reminded of a time long ago, when Ngurunderi taught them a valuable lesson.

Thanks to Australian Museum Here is the Thukeri Story Explanation by Veena Gollan.


  1. wow ! i lov aboriginal stories! so cool, like awesome!

  2. it was well written and easy to read i liked it!

  3. this was agood story to use in my indigenous texts assignment