REFLECTION by Biripi Creator Michael Scarrott

In Gathang Biluun is the word for Sting Ray. The giant Manta Ray is the largest of the rays and can be described as biluun gamay-gurayn, which means ray without spear.

Mantas are related to sharks and can be distinguished from Sting Rays by their front facing mouthparts and the absence of a barbed tail. 

The Giant Manta is one of the largest fish species in the world and can reach widths up to almost 30 feet. Highly intelligent they can live up to 40 years and have one of the largest brains of any fish, they have excellent memory and can even recognise their own reflection. 

They give birth to live young once every few years. 

Independent solitary creatures, they possess inter-generational knowledge and extraordinary navigation skills which enable them to travel great distances to gather with their kind to feed and breed at a particular time and place. 

This shark-like creature has evolved over millions of years to filter feed on the tiniest of creatures (zooplankton) and in doing so has created an opportunity to travel the world. It’s knowledge and experience is vast. 

To me this creature teaches us to be aware of what sustains us, our ‘needs’ as compared with our ‘wants’ or desires, to recognise the value the simple things gifted to us and of course the importance of sharing knowledge with family and community traditions. I’m reminded to be aware of my surroundings and that if we choose, the world can be a place of opportunity and adventure. 

Michael Scarrott 


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