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Map of Victorian Aborigines language territories

The Bidhawal (also known as Bidawal and Bidwell) were an Australian Aboriginal tribe of Gippsland, Victoria. According to A. W. Howitt, the Bidhawal were composed of "refugees from tribal justice or individual vengeance" from neighbouring tribes.


The Bidhawal spoke a dialect of the Kurnai language, which was also spoken by the Kurnai tribes to the west. However, the Bidhawal dialect had borrowed a number of words referring to mammals, birds and celestial bodies from Ngarigo, as well as a smaller number of words from Thawa and Dhudhuroa.

The Bidhawal called their own dialect mŭk-dhang ("good speech"), and that of the neighbouring Kurnai gūnggala-dhang. The Kurnai, however, called their own dialect mŭk-dhang, and that of the Bidhawal kwai-dhang ("rough speech").


  • Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-521-47378-0. 
  • Howitt, A. W. (1886). "On the Migrations of the Kurnai Ancestors". The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 15. 15: 419–420. doi:10.2307/2841818. JSTOR 2841818. 
  • Howitt, A. W. (1904). The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. London: Macmillan. pp. 79–81. ISBN 0-85575-275-0. 
  • Mathews, R. H. (Oct–Dec 1907). "Language of the Birdhawal Tribe, in Gippsland, Victoria". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 46 (187): 346–359. 

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