Nyangumarta people

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The Nyangumarta People, also written Njaŋumada, are a nation of Australian Aborigines from the northwestern coast of Western Australia. According to Norman Tindale, they are divided into two distinct branches, the Kundal and the Iparuka.[1]


Nyangumarta belongs to the Marrngu branch of the Pama–Nyungan languages, together with Mangarla and Karajarri.[2]


Njangumarta Kundal country extended over some 16,000 square miles (41,000 km2), while that of Njangumarta Iparuka comprised an estimated 8,700 square miles (23,000 km2).[1] Together they encompass areas from the Great Sandy Desert south through to Eighty Mile Beach, including Pardoo Station, Wallal Downs Station and Anna Plains Station. Geoffrey O'Grady affirmed that the original extent of their lands at the beginning of white colonial penetration in their domain was 7,000 square miles (18,000 km2), but that their linguistic expansion and influence had increased substantially since then.[3]

Present day

Most Nyangumarta people now live in Broome, Bidyadanga and Port Hedland, though they still regularly visit their country.

Native title

Their traditional ownership of this country was recognised in 2009 by the Federal Court of Australia.[4]

Alternative names

  • Njangamada, Nyangamada, Nangamada, Nangamurda, Njangomada, Njangumada.
  • Njangumarda, Nangumarda, Njangomada, Nyangumada,Nyangumata.
  • Njadamarda, Njanjamarta.
  • Ngapakoreilitja. (northern name,'southern waters people.')
  • Ngardungardu. (northern name, contrasting with Nganudu (southern Njaŋumada)
  • Warmala. (pejorative northern Njangamarda term for southerners)
  • Kundal. (name for northern coastal Njangamarda)
  • Kundal and Waljuli Njangamarda (southern inlanders names for northern coastal Njangamarda)
  • Kularupulu. (name applied jointly to coastal Njangamarda and Karajarri)
  • Iparuka. (name used by southern bands)
  • Ngapakarna. (another southern endonym)
  • I:baruga, Ibarga, Ibarrga, Ibargo.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Tindale 1974, p. 253.
  2. ^ Sharp 2004, pp. 5–9,6.
  3. ^ O'Grady 1957, p. 283.
  4. ^ NT 2009.


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