The history of the rainbow snake

Long before the first white man set foot in Australia, the Rainbow Serpent Petroglyph was creat ed. The image of the Serpent united people from all continents in 1992 at the World Uranium Hear ing in Salzburg, Austria. The rock stands on the ancestral lands of the Njamal people near the upper Yule River. According to Aboriginal mythology, the Rainbow Serpent, asleep in the earth, guards over those elemental forces beyond humankind’s control. Any attempt to seize these underworld elements will disturb the serpent from sleep, provoking its vengeance. The Aborigines tell us,”leave the uranium in the earth.”

The 1999 Nuclear-Free Future Award Ceremony held at Los Alamos, New Mexico, connected the Rainbow Serpent with Avanyu, the Water Serpent of the Tewa Pueblo. Gilbert Sanchez, a Tewa spiritual elder, tells us that there are four such serpents scattered around the earth to protect the sacred integrity of life and creation. The Avanyu Petroglyph is locat ed in the midst of the ancient Anasazi ruins of Tshroge, just below »Area G«, a hollowed out mesa filled with nuclear waste – the toxic legacy of more than half a century of nuclear weapons research and development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Tribal lead ers from the area issued the warning that, »if we neglect to take care of Avanyu, it will be transmuted into the Fire Serpent«.