Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) and Yawkyawk (Freshwater Mermaid Spirit) / Ngalkunburriyaymi (Ancestral Mermaid Spirit) from Kakadu and West Arnhem Land by Selone Djandjomerr, Abel Naborlhborlh, Linda Biyalwanga

Power and Water operates across 1.3 million square kilometres of the Northern Territory.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands we live, work and operate and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future.

We are excited to share Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) and Yawkyawk (Freshwater Mermaid Spirit) / Ngalkunburriyaymi (Ancestral Mermaid Spirit) story with you, from Kakadu and West Arnhem.

Duration 3:48 minutes

About the storytellers and artists

Linda Biyalwanga - Storyteller and artist

Linda Biyalwanga - Storyteller and artist

“I was born at Mudginbardi, I had two kids at Mudginbardi and I buried my parents at Mudginbardi. My mum and grandmother when I was about ten and twelve taught me how to weave. I like to weave baskets most, but when my hand gets tired I like to weave bangles.

I was watching my dad doing painting and I was doing a little bit when I had my first born, and then when he grew up i stopped doing it and then I met Abel and he taught me how to do painting and in his style, but first I used to paint in old style red white yellow. When I met Abel he taught how to paint in his style. The colours I use are red, black, yellow. I like painting more than weaving but when my family go out I sometimes go and collect pandanus and colour with them.

When I'm not painting or making baskets I like going out fishing or going out and collecting bush tucker. My favourite season is the wet because there is so much bush tucker around."

Selone Djandjommer- Storyteller and artist

Selone Djandjomerr - Storyteller and artist

Selone is the son of Mark (Djaykuk) Djandjomerr, he grew up in Jabiru, frequently staying at Manabadurma and at his outstation, Marlgawo.

Selone learnt to paint growing up surrounded by his uncles. His father Mark, Josh Bangarr and Abel Naborlhborlh all had significant influence on Selone's artwork style.

Selone was engaged with 11 different artists to paint the Marrawuddi Arts and Culture mural at the old Jabiru Bakery in 2019 and then again in 2022, to work directly with Ellie Hannon on Jabiru Kabolkmakmen's murals within the Jabiru Plaza.

Abel Naborlborlh- Storyteller and artist

Abel Narborlhborlh - Storyteller and artist

Able Narborlhborlh is a senior and respected artist of the Kakadu region.

"Born in Darwin, I was a little boy in Madjinbardi. I went to school in Gunbalunya and Jabiru. Around 16 or 17 I started painting. We were camping at Gulungul long time ago. My uncle Joshua Bangarr, he gave me a piece of cardboard box first and then one small bark. We start burning it and he showed me all that when I was young. I first painted a fish, then a mimi. I’ve painted all my life.

I had my first daughter Roxanne, and she looked after old Joshua, he told her all the old stories. I have two grandsons now and I teach them……. like my uncle showed me I will show this mob."

Painting of animals and water lilies in the waterway. This is the story about Ngalyod (water serpent). We believe that this one created the river systems, and the energy from the billabongs, and the channels, and the mermaids they are the children of the Spirit Serpent