Aboriginal elders teach that everything on the land is reflected in the sky. One of the most widespread Aboriginal constellations across Australia is the great Emu in the Sky. Instead of a constellation of bright stars, its a silhouette traced by the dark spaces in the Milky Way, stretching from the Southern Cross to Sagittarius.
In Wiradjuri traditions of central New South Wales, the celestial emu is Gugurmin. When Gugurmin rises at dusk in Bangalang (Autumn), the birds are nesting and it’s the season to collect their eggs for food. Male emus sit on the nests over Babang (Winter) and the chicks hatch in Yiraga (Spring), and are reared by the father emus. This coincides with coming-of-age ceremonies (Burbung), as represented by the young dancers.