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© Marina Murdilnga/Licenced by Viscopy, 2017

Yawkyawk spirit figure

Date: c 2004
Overall: 2950 x 500 mm
Medium: Natural fibre, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Marina Murdilnga
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: 00040031
Place Manufactured:Mumeka

User Terms

    This woven sculpture represents a Yawkyawk, a young female spiritual being that can be found in freshwater streams of south central Arnhem Land. These water creatures are comparable to European notions of the mermaid. Marina Murdilnga is an Indigenous artist and member of the Maningrida Arts and Crafts Centre. This community of artists is well known for their woven sculptures.
    SignificanceThis sculpture is representative of the artists belonging to the Yirrichinga moiety in the Gochan subsection. It is an example of contemporary artistic interpretation of a traditional ancestral being.
    HistoryMany Aboriginal people inhabit a world where ancestral beings and ancestors are constantly present in the landscape and environment. The word Yawkyawk means 'young women' or 'young women spirit being'. These enigmatic creatures live in freshwater streams, especially in the stone country of Arnhem Land. Yawkyawks have long streaming hair which is a reference to the trails of blooming green algae that are found in the region's freshwater streams and pools. They are sometimes known to leave their water homes and walk around the land, especially during the night.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Yawkyawk spirit figure

    Primary title: Yawkyawk Spirit figure (Mermaid)

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