Artist: Kapua gutchen Snr.
This story about the Meuram tribe, Aib the man and Bumeu, the water spring. Most of the our traditional stories of Erub and other Torres Strait Island communities have spiritual and moral meaning, strong before colonisation, and can still guide us today.
The story is about how Aib wanted something that didn’t belong to him. He wanted the special water belonging to another tribe. He wanted it so badly that he left what he was doing and sneaked his way into Keirkari to steal it. The Zogo water had come from afar. The Meuram had gone to great lengths to acquire this resource. He drank all the water till he was so full that he couldn’t move. When the warriors returned and speared him, the water gushed out of his belly, forming the spring of Bumeu.
The moral of this story:
“Nenerr Asimsim” our traditional laws teaches us “Teterr Mauki “ and “Tag Muiki “ -- our feet should not wander into other people’s area and our hands shouldn’t touch what is not ours. Aib crossed into Meuram tribe boundary and into their village and lost his life. The Meurams seeking vengeance likewise crossed into Aib’s tribal territory. Today Kerikari is a deserted waterless place. No ones lives there anymore nor at Bumeu. Bumeu well is now covered over with concrete. No one drinks from this spring anymore. The Bumeu Spring is at the foothills, yet its water is slightly salty or brackish. This story tell us its originally came from a sand cay.