Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) and Yawk Yawk (Freshwater Mermaid)
Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) is a most important ancestor spirit in western Arnhem Land and appears in various manifestations in Kunwinjku mythology. Ngalyod is daughter to the Mother One, Yingarna. Commonly Ngalyod is depicted with waterlily’s or palms growing from her serpent body, these attributes are said to be used when moving through the water or tunnels used to travel between and over Arnhem Land and Kakadu. She is generally feared as she may swallow bininj (aboriginal people) who break traditional laws. Ngalyod dwells also in various billabongs in Arnhem Land and Kakadu. In the Dreamtime Ngalyod assumed a range of animal forms, including snake, kangaroo and crocodile and at times transformed herself from one to the other, or into a combination of each.