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The Ngurrara are a grouping of Indigenous Australian peoples of the Great Sandy Desert, in the central Pilbara and southern Kimberley regions of Western Australia.


The ethnonym Ngurrara signifies 'home.' [1]

Country and people

The word Ngurrara refers to their native country, properly called Mawurritjiyi, the word for the Tanami Desert.[2]

The Ngurrarra themselves are the Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Mangala and Juwaliny language groups.[3]

Native title

In Kogolo vs. Western Australia (2007) the Ngurrarra won recognition of their native title rights to 76,000 square kilometres (29,000 sq mi).[4] They presented their case by drawing a large painting of their land, Ngurrara,[5] inscribed with figures from their mythological history associated with various points.[6] Their land is under the custodianship of the Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation.[7]



  1. ^ Tran Tran 2016, p. 167.
  2. ^ Musharbash 2008, p. 35.
  3. ^ KLC 2016.
  4. ^ Tran 2016, p. 166.
  5. ^ Brooks 2003.
  6. ^ Anker 2008, pp. 53–56.
  7. ^ Ngurrarra 2016.


  • "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS.
  • Anker, Kirsten (2008). "The Law of the Other: Exploring the Paradox of Legal Pluralism in Australian Native Title". In Lagayette, Pierre l (ed.). Rencontres australiennes: regards croisés sur l'identité d'un peuple et d'une nation. Presses Paris Sorbonne. pp. 39–55. ISBN 978-2-840-50541-9.
  • Brooks, Geraldine (28 July 2003). "The Painted Desert: How Aborigines turned ancient rituals into chic contemporary art". The New Yorker.
  • Musharbash, Yasmine (2008). Yuendumu Everyday: Contemporary Life in Remote Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal Studies Press. ISBN 978-0-855-75661-1.
  • "Native Title Map-Ngurrara". Kimberley Land Council. 2016.
  • "Ngurrarra". Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation. 2016.
  • "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
  • Tran, Tran (2016) [First published 2015]. "The (Non-Legal) Guide to Meaningful Recognition: A Case Study from the Canning Basin, Western Australia". In Sillitoe, Paul (ed.). Indigenous Studies and Engaged Anthropology: The Collaborative Moment. Routledge. pp. 163–179. ISBN 978-1-317-11722-3.

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