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|Region|| Great Dividing Range |
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Yowie is one of several names for an Australian folklore entity reputed to live in the Outback. The creature has its roots in Aboriginal oral history. In parts of Queensland, they are known as quinkin (or as a type of quinkin), and as joogabinna,in parts of New South Wales they are called Ghindaring, jurrawarra, myngawin, puttikan, doolaga, gulaga and thoolagal. Other names include yaroma, noocoonah, wawee, pangkarlangu, jimbra and tjangara. Yowie-type creatures are common in Aboriginal Australian legends, particularly in the eastern Australian states.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folklore studies or folkloristics, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.
The Outback is the vast, remote interior of Australia. "The Outback" is more remote than those areas named "the bush", which include any location outside the main urban areas.
The yowie is usually described as a hairy and ape-like creature standing upright at between 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in) and 3.6 m (12 ft). The yowie's feet are described as much larger than a human's, but alleged yowie tracks are inconsistent in shape and toe number, and the descriptions of yowie foot and footprints provided by yowie witnesses are even more varied than those of bigfoot. The yowie's nose is described as wide and flat.
Apes (Hominoidea) are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia. They are the sister group of the Old World monkeys, together forming the catarrhine clade. They are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint as evolved by the influence of brachiation. In traditional and non-scientific use, the term "ape" excludes humans, and is thus not equivalent to the scientific taxon Hominoidea. There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: the gibbons, or lesser apes; and the hominids, or great apes.
Behaviourally, some report the yowie as timid or shy.Others describe the yowie as sometimes violent or aggressive.
The origin of the name "yowie" to describe unidentified Australian hominids is unclear. The term was in use in 1875 among the Kámilarói people and documented in Rev. William Ridley's "Kámilarói and Other Australian Languages" (page 138) :
“Yō-wī” is a spirit that roams over the earth at night.
Some modern writers suggested that it arose through Aboriginal legends of the "Yahoo". Robert Holden recounts several stories that support this from the nineteenth century, including this European account from 1842:
The natives of Australia ... believe in ... [the] YAHOO ... This being they describe as resembling a man ... of nearly the same height, ... with long white hair hanging down from the head over the features ... the arms as extraordinarily long, furnished at the extremities with great talons, and the feet turned backwards, so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had travelled in the opposite direction. Altogether, they describe it as a hideous monster of an unearthy character and ape-like appearance.
Another story about the name, collected from an Aboriginal source, suggests that the creature is a part of the Dreamtime.
Dreamtime is a term devised by early anthropologists to refer to a religio-cultural worldview attributed to Australian Aboriginal beliefs. It was originally used by Francis Gillen, quickly adopted by his colleague Baldwin Spencer and thereafter popularised by A. P. Elkin, who, however, later revised his views. The Dreaming is used to represent Aboriginal concepts of "time out of time" or "everywhen", during which the land was inhabited by ancestral figures, often of heroic proportions or with supernatural abilities. These figures were often distinct from "gods" as they did not control the material world and were not worshipped, but only revered. The concept of the dreamtime has subsequently become widely adopted beyond its original Australian context and is now part of global popular culture.
Old Bungaree, a Gunedah Aboriginal ... said at one time there were tribes of them [yahoos] and they were the original inhabitants of the country — he said they were the old race of blacks ... [The yahoos] and the blacks used to fight and the blacks always beat them, but the yahoo always made away from the blacks being a faster runner mostly .
On the other hand, Jonathan Swift's yahoos from Gulliver's Travels , and European traditions of hairy wild men, are also cited as a possible source.. Furthermore, great public excitement was aroused in Britain in the early 1800s with the first arrivals of captive orangutan for display.
In a column in The Sydney Morning Herald in 1987, columnist Margaret Jones wrote that the first Australian yowie sighting was said to have taken place as early as 1795.
In the 1870s, accounts of "Indigenous Apes" appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal. The earliest account in November 1876 asked readers; "Who has not heard, from the earliest settlement of the colony, the blacks speaking of some unearthly animal or inhuman creature ... namely the Yahoo-Devil Devil, or hairy man of the wood ..."
In an article entitled "Australian Apes" appearing six years later, amateur naturalist Henry James McCooey claimed to have seen an "indigenous ape" on the south coast of New South Wales, between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla:
A few days ago I saw one of these strange creatures ... on the coast between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla ... I should think that if it were standing perfectly upright it would be nearly 5 feet high. It was tailless and covered with very long black hair, which was of a dirty red or snuff-colour about the throat and breast. Its eyes, which were small and restless, were partly hidden by matted hair that covered its head ... I threw a stone at the animal, whereupon it immediately rushed off ...
McCooey offered to capture an ape for the Australian Museum for £40. According to Robert Holden, a second outbreak of reported ape sightings appeared in 1912.The yowie appeared in Donald Friend's Hillendiana, a collection of writings about the goldfields near Hill End in New South Wales. Friend refers to the yowie as a species of bunyip. Holden also cites the appearance of the yowie in a number of Australian tall stories in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
According to "Top End Yowie investigator" Andrew McGinn, the death and mutilation of a pet dog near Darwin could have been the result of an attack by the mythological Yowie. The dog's owners believed dingoes were responsible.
In 2010, a Canberra man said he saw an animal described as "a juvenile covered in hair, with long arms that almost touched the ground" in his garage. A friend later told him it could be a yowie.
Accounts of yowie-sightings in New South Wales include:
In the mid-1970s, the Queanbeyan Festival Board and 2CA together offered a AU$200,000 reward to anyone who could capture and present a yowie: the reward is yet to be claimed.
In the late 1990s, there were several reports of yowie sightings in the area around Acacia Hills.One such sighting was by mango farmer Katrina Tucker who reported in 1997 having been just metres away from a hairy humanoid creature on her property. Photographs of the footprint were collected at the time.
The Springbrook region in south-east Queensland has had more yowie reports than anywhere else in Australia. metres tall.In 1977, former Queensland Senator Bill O'Chee reported to the Gold Coast Bulletin he had seen a yowie while on a school trip in Springbrook. O'Chee compared the creature he saw to the character Chewbacca from Star Wars. He told reporters that the creature he saw had been over 3
A persistent story is that of the Mulgowie Yowie, which was last reported as having been seen in 2001.
In March 2014, two yowie searchers claimed to have filmed the yowie in South Queensland using an infrared tree camera, collected fur samples, and found large footprints.Later that year, a Gympie man told media he had encountered yowies on several occasions, including conversing with, and teaching some English to, a very large male yowie in the bush north east of Gympie, and several people in Port Douglas claimed to have seen yowies, near Mowbray and at the Rocky Point range.
Australian historian Graham Joyner maintains the yowie has never existed. He points out that it was unknown before 1975 and that it originated in a misunderstanding.
Joyner's interest has been in the nineteenth century phenomenon known as the yahoo (also called the hairy man, Australian ape or Australian gorilla), a shadowy creature then seen as an undiscovered marsupial but one that was presumably extinct by the early twentieth century. There is some evidence for its former existence (Joyner 2008, p. 109). His 1977 book The Hairy Man of South Eastern Australia is a collection of documents about the yahoo. It was based on research begun in 1970 and summarised in a paper dated July 1973 ('Notes on the hairy man, wild man or yahoo', National Library of Australia MS 3889), at which time the yahoo had long been forgotten and nothing had been heard of the alleged yowie. He has since explained that the book was published to promote the former and to counter, not to endorse, the then new and extraordinary claims about the latter (Joyner 2008, p. 10).
According to Joyner, the notion of the yowie arose following a review in a Sydney newspaper of John Napier's 1972 book Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality, Jonathan Cape, London. In response the cryptozoologist and ufologist Rex Gilroy, citing an Aboriginal figure from western and central Australia called the Tjangara, made the astonishing claim that Australia was home to its own Abominable Snowman. However, the image of the enormous primate that Gilroy eventually presented to the Australian public in May 1975 as the yowie, while overtly modelled on exotic forms like the yeti, was apparently inspired by muddled recollections from the newspaper's readers of much earlier stories about the yahoo (Joyner 2008, pp. 5–8). On this estimation only the yahoo has (or more accurately had) a basis in reality.
Rex Gilroy... collected over 3,000 sightings of a giant hairy creature sighted across the continent.
In North American folklore, Bigfoot or Sasquatch are said to be hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creatures that dwell in the wilderness and leave footprints. Depictions often portray them as a missing link between humans and human ancestors or other great apes. They are strongly associated with the Pacific Northwest, and individuals claim to see the creatures across North America. Over the years, these creatures have inspired numerous commercial ventures and hoaxes. The plural nouns 'Bigfoots' and 'Bigfeet' are both in use.
The bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m (40 in) in length with small, stubby tails and weigh between 20 and 35 kg. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae. They are adaptable and habitat tolerant, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland.
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Pilliga is a village 105 km west of Narrabri in the North West Plains section of the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The village is within Narrabri Shire local government area.
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The Barmanou, a bipedal humanoid primate cryptid, allegedly inhabits the mountainous region of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shepherds living in the mountains have reported sightings.
Animal X is an Australian made documentary television series that aired in more than 120 countries. It began in 1997 with its first series of thirteen (13) half-hour episodes. In 2002, Discovery Channel in the U.S. co-produced the 2nd series of 13 half-hour episodes with the creators of the series, Australia's Storyteller Productions, for Animal Planet. At this point Animal X episodes generally had 3 stories, with one exception: "The Skookum Cast". This was a joint expedition between Animal X and the BFRO which discovered the Skookum Cast, said to be an imprint of the body of a bigfoot.
Yowie is a confectionery and publishing brand originating in Australia in 1995 by Cadbury and Kidcorp. It was one of the top selling chocolates in Australia in the late 1990s and early 2000s, selling over a million units a week. After a break of nearly a decade, Yowie relaunched in 2014 for US markets.
Nor of Human: An Anthology of Fantastic Creatures is the first short story anthology published by the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. Printed in 2001 under ISBN 0-646-41393-7 and edited by Geoffrey Maloney, it contains stories from several Australian speculative fiction authors.
Bigfoot or Sasquatch is an alleged ape-like creature purportedly inhabiting forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. More than fifty years have passed since the first supposed sightings of Bigfoot were reported in California. The character of Bigfoot has been used frequently in popular culture including film, TV, advertising, and literature. Bigfoot has also been the subject of several tourism campaigns.
Rex Gilroy is an Australian who has written articles and self-published books on cryptids and unexplained or speculative phenomena. His work has focused on yowie reports, 'out of place' animals, UFOs, and propositions regarding a 'lost' Australian civilization. He has contributed to, or been the subject of, several articles, in speculative media such as Nexus magazine and in Australian newspapers. He is the author and publisher of several books, the first of which appeared in 1986. He has documented over 3000 reports relating to yowies. His eclectic career has seen field research into butterflies and anthropology, but he remains most notable for his controversial searches for the recently extinct thylacine, moas, alien big cats, the long-extinct megalania, or the source of the yowie legend.
Ginninderra Creek, a partly perennial stream of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Capital Country region spanning both the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, Australia.
Shortland is a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Newcastle's central business district. It is part of the City of Newcastle local government area and was named after Lt. John Shortland, master's mate of the Sirius, the escorting vessel to the First Fleet. The area is restricted in development growth due to surrounding wetlands.
Australian mythology stems largely from Europeans who colonised the country from 1788, subsequent domestic innovation, as well as other immigrant and Indigenous Australian traditions, many of which relate to Dreamtime stories. Australian mythology survives through a combination of word of mouth, historical accounts and the continued practice and belief in Dreamtime within Aboriginal communities.
Tim the Yowie Man is an Australian writer, author and cryptonaturalist who was born in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.