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Map showing the lands of the Gunnawingu people near Darwin, Northern Territory.

The Gunwinggu people are a tribe of Australian Aboriginal people, forming part of the Bininj Gun-Wok peoples, who live to the east of Darwin, Northern Territory.


They traditionally speak the Kunwinjku language.


Their original heartland is said to have been in the hilly terrain south of Goulburn Island and their frontier with the Maung running just south of Tor Rock. Their northern extension approached Sandy Creek, while they were also present south-east at the head of Cooper's Creek and part of the King River.[1] In Norman Tindale's scheme, the Gunwinggu were allotted a tribal territory of around 2,800 square miles (7,300 km2) in the area south of Jungle Creek and on the headwaters of the East Alligator River.[2] The Gumader swamps near Junction Bay and the creeks east of Oenpelli/Awunbelenja also formed part of their land.[3]

Social organization

The Gunwinggu were composed of clans

Alternative names

  • Gunwingu
  • Gunwingo
  • Wengi, Wengei, Wengej
  • Gundeidjeme
  • Gundjeipmi
  • Kulunglutji, Kulunglutchi
  • Gundjeibmi, Gundjajeimi, Gundeijeme, Gundeidjeme
  • Margulitban
  • Unigangk, Urnigangg.[a]
  • Koorungo
  • Neinggu/Neiŋgu. (Maung exonym)[5]
  • Mangaridji
  • Mangeri.[2][b]


  1. ^ Tindale's source, Arthur Capell, actually wrote Uningangk[4]
  2. ^ Again Capell uses Mangeri to denote a distinct language group from the Gunwinggu[4]


  1. ^ Elkin, Berndt & Berndt 1951, pp. 253–254.
  2. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 226.
  3. ^ Elkin, Berndt & Berndt 1951, p. 254.
  4. ^ a b Capell 1942, p. 367.
  5. ^ Elkin, Berndt & Berndt 1951, p. 253.


  • Capell, Arthur (June 1942). "Languages of Arnhem Land, North Australia". Oceania. 12 (4): 364–392. JSTOR 40327959.
  • Elkin, A. P.; Berndt, R. M.; Berndt, C. H. (June 1951). "Social Organization of Arnhem Land". Oceania. 21 (4): 253–301. JSTOR 40328302.
  • Hiatt, L. R. (1965). Kinship and conflict: a study of an aboriginal community in northern Arnhem Land (pdf). Australian National University Press.
  • Mathews, R. H. (1900). "Marriage and descent among the Australian aborigines". Journal of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales. 34: 120.135.
  • Spencer, Baldwin (1914). Native tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia (PDF). London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Spencer, Baldwin (1928). Wanderings in wild Australia (PDF). London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Gunwinggu (NT)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
  • Warner, W. Lloyd (1937). Black civilization: a social study of an Australian tribe. Harper & Brothers.
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