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The Wardandi are an indigenous Noongar people of Western Australia.


There are at least three theories about the meaning of the tribal ethnonym. One informant suggested it reflected a word for "crow" (wardan), a theory that sits poorly with early word lists that state that the Wardandi word for that bird is kwa:kum. A second view argues for the sense of "seacoast people"; one source in support of this cites a word variously given as werdandie/wartine with the meaning "the sea". A third hypothesis has it that the name is derived from the word for "no".[1]


Wardandi traditional country covered an estimated 1,800 square miles (4,700 km2). Predominantly coastal, it encompassed Busselton and the areas from Bunbury to Cape Leeuwin and Geographe Bay. Inland it reached the area around Nannup.[1]

Alternative names

  • Waddarndi, Wadarndee, Wardandie
  • Wadjandi
  • Belliman
  • Geographe Bay and Vasse tribe
  • Bunbury tribe
  • Kardagur ("between" (the two seas))
  • Dardanup (toponym)
  • Dordenup
  • Dunanwongi (language name)
  • Doonin
  • Dornderupwongy
  • Jabaru ("north" among northern tribes)
  • Yabaroo
  • Nghungar (njunga is an eastern tribe word for "man".)[1]



  1. ^ a b c Tindale 1974, p. 259.


  • "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS. 2015-06-03.
  • "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
  • Hackett, Deborah Vernon (1958). An Attempt to Eat the Moon : and other stories recounted from the Aborigines. Melbourne: Georgian House.
  • Bates, D. M. (1905). Marriage laws and some customs of the West Australian aborigines. 23. Melbourne: Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. pp. 37–60.
  • Bates, D. M. (January–June 1914). A Few Notes on Some South-Western Australian Dialects. 44. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. pp. 65–82.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Wardandi (WA)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University.
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