Yawkyawk in Stone Country

Yawkyawk is a word from the Aboriginal Kunwinjku/Kunwok language, meaning ‘young woman’ and ‘young woman spirit being’.

Sometimes compared to the European notion of mermaids, yawkyawks are usually depicted with the tails of fish. They have long hair, associated with trailing blooms of algae, typically found in Arnhem Land streams and rock pools. There are wet season yawkyawk and dry season yawkyawk. It is said that when men go out hunting, they sometimes hear the song of the yawkyawk and become confused, loosing their way back to country.