The crocodile totemic culture hero of the Koko Ya'o tribe. I'wai was the leading figure among the ancestors who lived "in the beginning at first," a phrase that often opens a myth about the pre-human period. I'wai is associated with the awakening of sex virility at puberty, symbolized by the swinging of the bullroarer at initiation. The stone for creating "sexual license" was left by him in mythical times. If this stone is "flashed," i.e., painted, all women become desirous.



  • Leach, Maria, ed. (1984). Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Thompson, D.E. "The Hero Cult, Initiation and Totemism on Cape York Peninsula," in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. lxiii (1933), p. 503.