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  • #3508
  • Pacific Pacific (culture)
  • Reptilian Reptilian (attribute)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)

A great frilled lizard that brought fire to the people of New Guinea. At one time on the island of Nelgi there was no fire so people had to use hot stones, warmed by the sun to cook their food. This was very time consuming and difficult. The people of Nelgi had heard that people form a nearby island had found a new and quicker way of cooking, and saw smoke arising from that place. The scout Karum went in search for this truth but he never returned. Walek then took it upon himself to go. He swam through the water and turned into a human when hen reached the other side. He had a sister there called Ubu who was married to the clan of the island. When Walek asked what their secret was to cooking, she showed him how placing many stones on top of each other one could create an alcove to use as an oven. The sight of fire nearby caught Walek. He asked if that was the legendary fire he had heard of and how such a thing could be created. She told him that fire can be created from these hot coals that she held in her hand. Walek took one and put it in his mouth when he resumed lizard form to swim back. He spat the coal out onto dry grass, which was swiftly set alight. He then did the same to all the surrounding islands. The people of Nelgi would see the fires of the islands at night and the smoke arising at day to see the success of Walek’s work. Everyone enjoyed cooking and eating except Walek whose tongue was burnt; a sacrifice he made to show people fire.

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Does Walek Exist?

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