Sometimes called native companions or Australian cranes, these grey birds are beautiful dancers, famous for their elaborate performances which appear to be for both pleasure and as a part of their mating ritual. The Aboriginal people have immortalised their graceful steps through dance. Vocal birds, the females also make a trumpeting sound while dancing. They look very elegant moving across the plains; the freedom contained within their dance spreading and radiating joy and spontaneity. Get ready for a celebration, if Brolga delicately steps into the arena of your life!
In a well-known Dreaming about Brolga, she was a beautiful girl obsessed with dancing. A wirrinun (shaman) wanted her for his wife but she refused, as she refused all men. Dancing was her love and nothing else distracted her. He harboured resentment until one day, seeing her dancing alone on the plain he takes his chance, changes himself into a willywilly (small whirlwind) and sweeps her into it with the intention of abducting her. The Great Spirit intervenes and she is transformed into Brolga as we see her today. She is still dancing.
Brolga emphasises the ability you have to pursue creative interests and talents, and still be supported. The girl was provided for by her tribe, allowed to practise skills, even though they were unnecessary for physical survival. Also, as a rare token of esteem, she was permitted to dance in the mens’ corroborees. Brolga, perhaps the first career woman, strongly emphasises going for your dream and expressing yourself creatively on a professional level. All it requires is a belief in the Self and an investment of time – the evidence that self-expression can work is stamped out in Brolga’s dance!
It is obvious Brolga symbolises creativity, especially dance and self-expression. Brolga was a very good dancer, she loved it and all her energies went into it. What are you good at in your life? Brolga dances the elegant dance of creative expression, and asks you to join her!
Enjoy the Bangarra Dance Theatre rendition of Brolga:
And here’s Brolga dancing in the wild:
 Mountford, Charles P. “The Dawn of Time.” Also H. Rule & S. Goodman, compiled by. “Gulpilil’s Stories of the Dreamtime”