Welcome to Day Y of the A to Z Blog Challenge.
The Yawk Yawk of the Australian Indigenous Aboriginal culture are among the most interesting of the world’s mermaids.
Aboriginal art prints by Leslie Nawirridj in the traditional style of the Kunwinjku Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory of Australia.
Yawk Yawk is an Aboriginal word meaning “young spirit woman.” They are found in fresh water rivers, lakes, and billabongs rather than the ocean. The Yawk Yawk seem similair to other mermaids with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. Their long hair is composed of the algae from the waters where they live. They can shape-shift and sometimes are pictured with reptilian tails.
Yawk yawk sculpture by Frewa Bardaluna
The Yawk Yawk are believed to have great powers. They can provide food and water, cause natural disasters when angered, and are associated with fertility by enabling women to become pregnant. The folklore says that the Yawk Yawk can leave the water at night and walk around on two legs.
The Australian Aborigines believe that mermaids still live in the waters of the Northern Territory regions. They can be found sitting on rocks but will slip back into the water if they realize they are being seen.
Silkscreen on fabric based on traditional Aboriginal art.
One legend tells of a fisherman who captured a mermaid in a trap. She became his wife and they had children .One day she saw her reflection in the river and was reminded of her mermaid form and she disappeared back into the water.
Another story tells of fishermen who caught a Yawk Yawk in a net. She warned them not to overfish the lake but to take just what they needed. They didn’t heed her warning so she drowned them.
And You, Yes You too can be a mermaid!
I have discovered this past month that there are many people who are fascinated by mermaids. There is a Mernetwork that has a forum for discussing all things mermaid such as folklore, where to purchase a tail, and much more. They have pods located by geographic area so that you can find other like-minded merfolk.
So You Want to be a Mermaid is an interesting article on the Huffington Post with great tips.
I am going to try to meet a mermaid tonight. Here’s the link if you wonder where I’ll be.
Have you ever dreamed of being a mermaid?
Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. Enter my giveaway for a little something mermaid by posting a comment.