Our Culture

Jawoyn refers to language, culture, people and country.

It is our parents’ affiliation and knowledge and our connectedness to Jawoyn country that makes us who we are.

The majority of Jawoyn live on or close to Jawoyn traditional lands, with the many living close to Katherine in small communities.

Prior to colonisation, Jawoyn was made of 43 clans, however many clans have disappeared or combined with others. Today there are 17 distinct clans with responsibilities for specific country.


Places connected to creation, dreaming and ceremony and sites featuring rock art and are facts are all important to Jawoyn.

They are an important part of our culture and show the long history of Jawoyn people, country and life.

When tourists visit Nitmiluk National Park or Leilyn (Edith Falls) they are already experiencing places that are deeply important to us. They can also see this through the rock art painted at Nitmilluk National Park and along the Jatbula trail. As part of increasing work on country, there has also been significant rediscovery of important cultural sites across remote parts of our lands.

This has lead to significant effort in recording, documenting and preserving knowledge of those places over many years. Senior elders from Jawoyn and nearby lands have been taken to the sites as part of oral history recording and research into their significance and stories. Many elders who have been able to reconnect to their special sites. The sites have also played a vital role in educat-ing younger Jawoyn people by elders and seeing more evidence of pride in history.