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The Ngarlawongga were an indigenous Australian people of the Mid West region of Western Australia.


The Ngarlawongga were the people who inhabited the area of the headwaters of the Ashburton and Gascoyne rivers, going south to the vicinity of the Three Rivers and Mulgul. Their eastern extension ran to Ilgarari. In Norman Tindale's estimation, their tribal territories covered some 8,700 square miles (23,000 km2).[1]

On the Ngarlawongga's boundaries, to their immediate north were the Mandara, then, running clockwise, the Wirdinya north-east, followed by the Wardal, and the Madoitja south/southeast and the Watjarri to their south-west. The Ninanu lay on their western flank, below the northwestern Inawongga.[2][3]


The Australian writer Katharine Susannah Prichard's novel of interracial love, Coonardoo (1929), was written directly after her stay among the Ngarlawongga while resident on McGuire's pastoral station which was run by local aboriginals. She called them Gnarler and found the Ngarlawongga both 'poetic' and 'naive'.[4]

Alternative names

  • Ngalawongga.
  • Nalawonga.
  • Ngarla-warngga.
  • "Southern Pad'ima" Ngalawonga.
  • Ngarla. (to be distinguished from the Ngarla of the De Grey River).[1]



  1. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 252.
  2. ^ TTB 2016.
  3. ^ AIATSIS.
  4. ^ Kossew 2004, pp. 82–86.


  • "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS.
  • Kossew, Sue (2004). Writing Woman, Writing Place: Contemporary Australian and South African Fiction. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-44811-1.
  • "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Ngarlawongga (WA)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
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