Three Sisters

Just noticeable on the bottom right corner of the image are three tall rock formations known as ‘Three Sisters’. They are located in Katoomba within the Blue Moutains in New South Wales, Australia.

 

Three sisters

 

The Sisters were formed by land erosion. The soft sandstone of the Blue Mountains is easily eroded over time by wind, rain and rivers, causing the cliffs surrounding the Jamison Valley to be slowly broken up.

The commonly told legend of the Three Sisters is that three sisters (Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’) lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe (the Nepean tribe), but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back. This legend is claimed to be an Indigenous Australian Dreamtime legend.

However, there is a belief that the legend is a fabrication created by a non-Aboriginal Katoomba local, presumably to add interest to the landmark. The story originated in the late 1920s or early 1930s and is unknown prior to that date.

 

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