Collection Online
natural dyes on pandanus (Pandanus sp.) and bamboo
264.7 × 122.0 × 6.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Maningrida, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mark Chapman, 2008
© Anniebell Marngamarrnga, couresty of Maningrida Arts and Crafts
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
This woven figure represents a yawkyawk or young female spirit. Yawkyawks are usually represented with a fish tail and long hair, which is associated with trailing blooms of green algae. They are sometimes compared with the European notion of mermaids, because these spiritual beings live in the cool freshwater streams and rock pools in the western Arnhem land plateau known as the Stone Country. This yawkyawk carries two babies beautifully woven into her swollen abdomen. Their pale, open-mouthed faces contrast with the swirling optical rows of pink, yellow and orange bands of woven rarrk, like crosshatching in a bark painting.