Definition of Quinkan in English:



  • A spirit person depicted in rock paintings of northern Queensland.

    ‘the Quinkan has two parts to his being: one good, one bad’
    as modifier ‘Quinkan art is outstanding in variety, quantity, and quality’
    • ‘Apart from Split Rock Site, visitors can only visit the Quinkan rock art with a guide.’
    • ‘A saucer-eyed Quinkan spirit man, with extended arms and body shimmering in tiny coloured lights, snatches the attention of the mix of tourist visitors.’
    • ‘From the spooky appearance of Quinkan and his ghostly mate Gadja, guests move outdoors, down to a lakeside, where they become involved in a fire-making performance in a non-intimidating way.’
    • ‘The Quinkan rock art is found within 230,000 hectares of sandstone and depicts images from the Dreamtime.’
    • ‘Opening up parts of Queensland's Cape York to mining could devastate the famous Quinkan rock art.’


Early 20th century: from Kuku-Yalanji (an Aboriginal language) guwin-gan ‘ghost, spirit’.