From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Anangu)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Aṉangu is the name used by members of several central Australian Aboriginal groups, roughly approximate to the Western Desert cultural bloc, to describe themselves.[1] The term, which embraces several distinct "tribes", is accurately spelled "Aṉangu" and pronounced with the stress on the first syllable: [ˈaɳaŋʊ].

The term[edit]

The original meaning of the word was "human being, person", "human body" in a number of eastern varieties of the Pama–Nyungan Western Desert Languages (WDL), in particular Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara. It is now used as an Aboriginal endonym by a wide range of Western Desert Language peoples. It is rarely or never applied to non-Aboriginal people. It has come to be used also as an exonym by non-Aboriginal Australians to refer to WDL-speaking groups or individuals.

With regard to the term's distribution and spelling, the following table shows the main WDL dialects in which it is used (left column) along with the word spelled according to the orthography of that dialect (right column).

Pitjantjatjara, Pintupi-Luritja aṉangu
Southern (Titjikala) Luritja, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngaatjatjarra yarnangu
Yankunytjatjara yaṉangu

The reasons for the spelling variations are that some WDL dialects do not allow vowel-initial words—in these varieties the word begins with y; some orthographies use underlining (e.g. ṉ) to indicate a retroflex consonant, while others use a digraph (e.g. rn). Pitjantjatjara seems to be the best-known source for the word, but the underlining of the consonant is often ignored (or not understood) by English speakers, and is difficult to type, so the word is very commonly, but incorrectly, rendered as anangu.


The Aṉangu dwell primarily in the Central Western desert, to the south of the Arrernte and Walpiri.[2]

See also[edit]




  • Eckert, Paul; Hudson, Joyce (1988). Wangka Wiru: A handbook for the Pitjantjatjara language learner. Underdale SA: SACAE. ISBN 0-86803-230-1.
  • Glass, Amee; Hackett, Dorothy (2003). Ngaanyatjarra & Ngaatjatjarra to English Dictionary. Alice Springs: IAD Press. ISBN 1-86465-053-2.
  • Goddard, Cliff (1985). A Grammar of Yankunytjatjara. Alice Springs: IAD Press.
  • Goddard, Cliff (1992). Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara to English Dictionary. Alice Springs: IAD Press. ISBN 0-949659-64-9.
  • Griffin, Graham (2011). "Welcome to Aboriginal Land: Anangu Ownership and Management of Uluru-Kata National Park". In Chatty, Dawn; Colchester, Marcus (eds.). Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development. Berghahn Books. pp. 362–375. ISBN 978-1-782-38185-3.
  • Hansen, KC; Hansen, LE (1992). Pintupi/Luritja Dictionary 3rd Edition. Alice Springs: IAD Press. ISBN 0-949659-63-0.
  • Kastrinou, Maria; Layton, Robert (2016). "The Politics of Reincarnation, Time and Sovereignty: A Comparative Anthropological Investigation of the Syrian Druze and Australian Anangu". In Gledhill, John (ed.). World Anthropologies in Practice: Situated Perspectives, Global Knowledge. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-474-25262-1.
  • Valiquette, Hilaire, ed. (1993). A Basic Kukatja to English Dictionary. Balgo WA: Luurnpa Catholic School. ISBN 0-646-12453-6.

External links[edit]