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The Mandjildjara, also written Manyjilyjarra, are an indigenous Australian people of Western Australia.


In Norman Tindale's estimation[a] the Mandjildjara's lands extended over some 8,700 square miles (23,000 km2), running along what was later known as the Canning Stock Route, from Well 30 (Tjundu'tjundu) to Well 38 (Watjaparni.) It extended southwards some 50 miles as far the Tjanbari hill, and watering places they variously called Kolajuru, Karukada, Keweilba, and Kunkunba. They roamed eastwards as far as an unidentified waterhole known as Ngila.[2]

History of contact

According to Tindale, in 1964, the patrol officer, Walter MacDougall came across a group of 9 aboriginal women at a place called Imiri in the area known as Percival Lakes, who identified themselves as Mandjildjara.[2][b] At the time the whole area had suffered from severe drought conditions for over a decade, leading large numbers of desert peoples, often identified generically as Pintubi, to trek or straggle eastwards to places like Balgo and Papunya.[4]

Alternative names

  • Mandjiltjara, Mantjiltjara, Mandjildara, Mantjildjara,Manjiljara.[2]
  • Manyjilyjarra.


  1. ^ Tindale's estimates particularly for the peoples of the Western desert are not considered to be accurate.[1]
  2. ^ For this year Jeremy Long's analysis mentions only that MacDougall later came across 11 people near Jupiter in September, and that, around this time:'A group found living far to the north-west near the Percival Lakes, in the actual 'impact area' for firings of Blue Streak rocket was, I understand, offered transport to Jigalong by the Western Australian authorities. This group consisted of 20 women and children and the offer was not made because they were at risk from rockets. Apparently theirmale relatives had left the group some years earlier and had never returned.).[3]


  1. ^ Tonkinson 1989, p. 101.
  2. ^ a b c Tindale 1974, p. 247.
  3. ^ Long 1989, pp. 35,39.
  4. ^ Long 1989, pp. 32–35.


  • "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS.
  • "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
  • Long, Jeremy (1989). "Leaving the desert: Actors and Sufferers in the Aboriginal Exodus from the Western Desert Aboriginal" (PDF). Aboriginal History. 13: 9–43.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Mandjildjara (WA)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
  • Tonkinson, Robert (1989). "Local Organisation and Land Tenure in the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) Region" (PDF). In Western Desert Working Group. The significance of the Karlamilyi Region to the Martujarra people of the Western Desert. Perth: Department of Conservation and Land Management. pp. 99–259.
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