|Unknown (110 recorded fluent speakers of Adnyamathanha language)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Adnyamathanha, English (Australian Aboriginal English, Australian English)|
|Christianity (Baptist), traditional beliefs|
The Adnyamathanha (Pronounced: //) are a contemporary Aboriginal Australian people of the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia, formed as an aggregate of several distinct peoples. Strictly speaking the ethnonym Adnyamathanha was an alternative name for the Wailpi, but the grouping also includes the Guyani, Jadliaura, Pilatapa and sometimes the Barngarla peoples. The origin of the name is in the words "adnya" ("rock") and "matha" ("group" or "group of people").
Adnyamathanha is also often used as the name of their traditional language, although the language is more commonly called "yura ngarwala" by Adnyamathanha people themselves (roughly translated as "our speech"), and they refer to themselves as "yura". There is a community of Adnyamathanha people at Nepabunna, just west of the Gammon Ranges, which was established as a mission station in 1931. The Adnyamathanha people have run Nantawarrina IPA, the first Indigenous Protected Area in Australia, since 1998.
According to David Horton's map "Aboriginal Australia" (largely based on that of Norman Tindale), the Adnyamathanha lands lie on the west banks of Lake Frome and extend south and west over the northern Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park and northwards over the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park. The people today describe their lands as "from the Northern Flinders south to Port Augusta and as far east as Broken Hill".
On the northern edges of the Adnyamathanha tribal lands are the Diyari lands, on the western edges are the Kokatha lands. To the south are the Barngarla (also sometimes included in the Adnyamathanya group), Nukunu, and Ngadjuri. To the east are the Malyangapa.
On 30 March 2009, the Adnyamathanha people were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as having native title rights over about 41,000 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi) running east from the edge of Lake Torrens, through the northern Flinders Ranges, approaching the South Australian border with New South Wales.
Nantawarrina, the first Indigenous Protected Area in Australia, was established in 1998, with extensive work done by Indigenous rangers to restore the land and protect the native flora and fauna since then.
In 2016 Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park was renamed from Flinders Ranges National Park in recognition of its Adnyamathanha heritage. The word ikara means "meeting place" in Adnyamathanha language, and refers in this instance to Wilpena Pound (situated within the park), a traditional meeting place of the Adnyamathanha people.
The ethnonym Adnyamathanha was, according to Tindale, an alternative name for the Wailpi, but the grouping also includes the Guyani (Kuyani), Jadliaura (Yardliyawara), Pilatapa, and, according to the people themselves, the Pangkala (Barngarla) peoples.
The name Adnyamathanha means "rock people", with "adnya" meaning "rock" and "matha", a "group" or "group of people", in the Adnyamathanha language, and is a term referring to the Lakes Culture societies living in that area. They share a common identity, which they get from their ancestors; this common bond is their language and culture which is known as Yura Muda. Adnyamathanha people often refer to themselves as "yura", and non-Aboriginal people as "udnyu".
Mythology and astronomy
The origins of the Adnyamathanha are told through creation stories, passed down from generation to generation. The primordial creator figure of the rainbow serpent is, among them, known as akurra.
The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) are known to them as the Makara, seen as a group of marsupial-like women with pouches, while the Magellanic Clouds are known as Vutha Varkla, seen as two male lawmen also known as the Vaalnapa.
Traditionally, the Adnyamathanha bear strong respect for lizards such as geckoes and goannas. This is explained in myth as the cannibal sun goddess Bila having been defeated by the Lizard Men Kudnu and Muda.
History of contact
In 1851 the first Europeans settled some of the Adnyamathanha land. This led to many conflicts because the Adnyamathanha people were pushed off their land by the Europeans, who lived on pastoral leases established by the state government. In response to the loss of their land, food and water, Aboriginal people stole sheep, which in turn led to retaliatory killings. However, Aboriginal stockmen and housekeepers soon became a way of life for the early settlers, and the Adnyamathanha people adopted western dress and ways by the 1900s.
They nevertheless retained strong links to their language and culture, and would gather at the campsite and ration depot at Mount Serle Station (Atuwarapanha), a significant cultural site to speak in their languages and pass on their lore. After rations stopped, they relocated to Ram Paddock Gate (Minerawuta) during the 1920s. After the Nepabunna Mission was established by the United Aborigines Mission in 1931, most of the residents of Ram Paddock moved there. Some of the mission residents worked at R. M. Williams's workshop nearby, where Williams developed his trademark boots and horse-riding equipment, helping to build his business in the first two years of its existence.
Records of culture
A University of Adelaide anthropological expedition travelled to Nepabunna in May 1937 led by J.B. Cleland, which included Charles P. Mountford as ethnologist and photographer, as well as botanist Thomas Harvey Johnston, virologist Frank Fenner, and others. Mountford was especially interested in the Adnyamathanha people's art, mythology and rituals. He came back later in the year and many times thereafter, recording Adnyamathanha language and culture. The Mountford-Sheard Collection in the State Library of South Australia (inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World programme in 2008 ) shows that he had intended to write a book about them, but this was never realised. However the library has a large collection of handwritten journals, photographs, sound and film recordings gathered by him from and about the people. Mountford was self-taught, but had been in the field recording Australian rock art sites during the 1920s with Tindale, and was sympathetic to the plight of Aboriginal people.
In 2011 a flag of the Adnyamathanha people was created, and raised at Nepabunna on the 80th anniversary of its establishment. At the time, there was one remaining person still alive who had been born on the mission, Ronald Coulthard.
An exhibition entittled UNSETTLED: Colonial Ruin in the Flinders Ranges, described as "a critical examination of settler-colonial nostalgia in the Flinders Ranges, within an artistic context", was mounted by the State Library of South Australia in partnership with the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association in March–May 2017. It included many photographs by Mountford, taken by him on the 1937 and subsequent trips to the Flinders. The photos were complemented by story-telling by descendants of the people represented, including Terrence Coulthard (see Notable people, below).
- Adam Goodes, four-time All-Australian AFL footballer, stated he is an Adnyamathanha and Narungga man.
- Rebecca Richards, the first Aboriginal Rhodes Scholar, is an Adnyamathanha and Barngarla woman.
- Regina McKenzie is an artist who, in 2006, had two pieces acquired by the National Museum of Australia of Adnyamathanha Dreaming Storylines and who, in 2016, was awarded the Peter Rawlinson award for her outstanding contribution to protection of country by the Australian Conservation Foundation.
- Juanella McKenzie, artist and daughter of Regina McKenzie, had two works (containing similar storylines subject matter) acquired by the National Museum of Australia in 2008, and in early 2019 at the age of 29, Juanella was acquired into the National Museum of Scotland with a bark painting she did using traditional methods depicting women's business. She won an Achievement award from TAFE NSW in 2019, a category of the Gili (pronounced kill-ee) Awards which celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal students, as well as the accomplishments of TAFE NSW employees and innovative programs that have empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She won Country Arts SA’s 2020 Breaking Ground visual arts development award, and her work Yurndu (Sun) which uses the traditional technique of weaving emu feathers, was selected as a finalist for the Ramsay Art Prize at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2021.
- Terrence and Josephine Coulthard, authors of the first Adnyamathanha/English bilingual dictionary, published in November 2020. The family runs the Iga Warta cultural tourism enterprise, near Nepabunna.
- Horton 1996.
- NIGA: first IPA 2018.
- Dulaney, Bennett & Brown 2016.
- Tindale 1974, p. 219.
- Nepabunna, 1937-39 2009.
- Clendon 2015, p. 7.
- Flinders Ranges National Park 2007.
- Beckett & Hercus 2009, p. 17.
- Curnow 2009.
- Pianka, Eric R.; Vitt, Laurie J. (2003). Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. ISBN 9780520248472.
- Marsh, Walter (1 May 2021). "Sole of a nation". The Monthly. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
- AMotW: M-S Collection.
- SLoSA: M-S Collection.
- Robinson 2017.
- Gage 2011.
- Cooke & Morgain 2019, pp. 218–235.
- McLoughlin 2016.
- Young Australian of the Year 2012.
- ACF 2016.
- Arrarru Mathari Artu Mathanha National Museums Scotland. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- Juanella McKenzie shines at TAFE NSW Gili Awards TAFE NSW. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- Keen, Suzie (22 April 2021). "2021 Ramsay Art Prize finalists announced". InDaily. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
- Skujins 2020.
- "Adam Goodes (@adamroy37)". Twitter. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- Austin, Peter (2004). "Diyari (Pama-Nyungan)". In Booij, G. E.; Lehmann, Christian; Mugdan, Joachim (eds.). Morphologie: Ein Internationales Handbuch Zur Flexion und Wortbildung. Volume 2. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 1490–1500. ISBN 978-3-110-17278-2.
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- Beckett, Jeremy; Hercus, Luise (2009). The Two Rainbow Serpents Travelling: Mura Track Narratives from the 'Corner Country'. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-1-921-53693-9.
- Clendon, Mark (2015). Clamor Schürmann's Barngarla grammar: A commentary on the first section of A vocabulary of the Parnkalla language. University of Adelaide Press. ISBN 978-1-925-26111-0.
- Cooke, Grayson; Morgain, Dea (25 March 2019). "Adnyamathanha Archives and Colonial Ruins: The UNSETTLED Project". Journal of Australian Studies. 43 (2): 218–235. doi:10.1080/14443058.2019.1585378. ISSN 1444-3058. S2CID 150420952.
- Curnow, Paul (June 2009). "Adnyamathanha Night Skies" (PDF). The Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of South Australia. 2009: 12. Bibcode:2009BASSA2009...12C.
- Dulaney, Michael; Bennett, Tim; Brown, Carmen (1 May 2016). "Flinders Ranges renamed in recognition of traditional Aboriginal owners". ABC News.
- "Flinders Ranges National Park". Cultural Heritage. Department for Environment and Heritage. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 September 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
- Gage, Nicola (5 December 2011). "Aboriginal community's own flag an 'historic moment'". ABC News. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
- Gason, Samuel (1879) [First published 1874]. "The Dieyerie tribe of Australian Aborigines". In Woods, J. D. (ed.). Native Tribes of South Australia. Adelaide: E. S. Wigg & Son. pp. 253–307 – via Internet Archive.
- Horton, David R (1996). Aboriginal Australia (Map). Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies – via Trove.
- Howitt, Alfred William (1904). The native tribes of south-east Australia. Macmillan Publishers – via Internet Archive.
- "Indigenous leaders Micklo Corpus and Regina McKenzie win Rawlinson award". Australian Conservation Foundation. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
- McLoughlin, Chris (25 October 2016). "Rhodes Scholar Rebecca Richards aims to improve SA Museum Aboriginal collection". ABC News. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "Mountford-Sheard Collection". Australian Memory of the World. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
- "Mountford-Sheard Collection". State Library of South Australia Collection. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Nantawarrina, the first IPA in Australia". indigenous.gov.au. National Indigenous Government Agency. 23 August 2018.
- "Nepabunna, 1937-39". SA Memory. State Library of South Australia. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Our Story". Nepabunna. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Rebecca Richards: 2012 Young Australian of the Year". Australian of the Year Awards. National Australia Day Council. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Regina and Juanella McKenzie collection". Collection Explorer. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Robinson, Heather L. (28 March 2017). "Revisiting colonial ruin in the Flinders Ranges". The Conversation. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- Skujins, Angela (9 November 2020). "The first Adnyamathanha dictionary, 40 years in the making". CityMag. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Wailpi (SA)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
- "Aboriginal missions in South Australia: Nepabunna". LibGuides at State Library of South Australia. 2 November 2020.
- Spencer, Tracy (2007). "'We had to give them everything': Adnyamathanha Agency in the Economy of 'Whiteness'". Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity (Conference paper). Humanities & Social Sciences Collection. RMIT and University of Melbourne. ISBN 978-192116680-8.
- Spencer, Tracy (2011). White Lives in a Black Community: The lives of Jim Page and Rebecca Forbes in the Adnyamathanha community: Volume Two: Exegetical Essays (PDF) (Thesis). Includes full text of "We had to give them everything": Adnyamathanha Agency in the Economy of "Whiteness", cited above. Flinders University.