Summary: A unique Aboriginal engraving site in the Muogamarra Nature Reserve, which depicts a man and woman copulating, along with four additional men.

This Aboriginal engraving site in Muogamarra Nature Reserve was first documented by Campbell in 1899, who described the compact group of carvings:

The figures comprise a man with an uplifted boomerang, or nulla-nulla, in the left hand, while another boomerang is stuck in the belt, the penis extends to the figure of a woman four feet away. Above the male figure is what is probably a figure of a deity, and on either side are smaller human figures, also a hand, and a smaller one with a part of the forearm, while below is a fish.

W.D. Campbell, Aboriginal carvings of Port Jackson and Broken Bay (1899)

It is one of a small number of sites depicting sexual intercourse; another is at West Head (Lovers and Whales). Many years later, McCarthy provided a considerably more interpretative view of what this group of figures represents (although he does hedge his bets):

The group represents sexual intercourse with a woman captured by bridegroom and his mates, and after the capture when each one had intercourse with the bride; on the other hand it could represent a woman who has been seduced by a spirit being whose penis has passed underground to reach her vagina, a common occurence in Aboriginal mythology. This is a unique group.

Fred McCarthy, Catalogue of Rock Engravings (1983)

The man has a five-rayed headdress and is holding a weapon above his head, while a sword club is attached to his double-line belt. What’s most distinctive about this figure is his long penis, which has a bar across it and extends over two metres to the vagina of a woman.The woman has breasts which “project straight out each side of her body in the form of a pointed oval across her throat and shoulders and not as separate breasts, fat rounded body with an arc from the breast line to the left side of her body”.

Between the copulating man and woman are two smaller men; one is more weathered and hard to make out (both were described as men but have no genitalia).

A fourth man with a half-oval head and pointed penis is on the opposite side of the man with the long penis.

Two human hands are at the edge of the site. (Hand engravings are relatively unusual; there are two hands at the West Head Man Peeing in Waterhole site and one near the Milyerra Trail.)

Note: As a restricted nature reserve, photography and off-track site visitation within Muogamarra is not allowed without a permit.

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