|Aka: Badjalang (Tindale)(Horton)|
South Eastern Queensland bioregion
|Area (approx. 6,000 sq. km)|
|Rivers||Lower reaches of|
|Other geological:||Cape Byron|
The Bundjalung people (also known as Bunjalung, Badjalang and Bandjalang) are Aboriginal Australians who are the original custodians of the northern coastal area of New South Wales (Australia), located approximately 550 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of Sydney, an area that includes the Bundjalung National Park.
Bundjalung people all share descent from ancestors who once spoke as their first, preferred language one or more of the dialects of the Lower-Richmond branch of the Yugambeh-Bundjalung language family.
Bundjalung is a Pama-Nyungan language. It has two unusual features: certain syllables are strongly stressed while others are "slurred", and it classifies gender into four classes: (a) masculine (b) feminine (c) arboreal and (d) neuter.
According to Norman Tindale, Bundjalung tribal lands encompassed roughly 2,300 square miles (6,000 km2), from the northern side of the Clarence River to the Richmond River, including Ballina with their inland extension running to Tabulam and Baryugil. The coastal Widje horde ventured no further than Rappville.
According to R. H. Mathews, the Bundjalung rite of transition into manhood began with a cleared space called a walloonggurra some distance from the main camp. On the evening the novices are taken from their mothers around dusk, the men sing their way to this bora ground where a small bullroarer (dhalguñgwn) is whirled.
The Bundjalung used a variety of instruments including blowing on a eucalyptus leaf, creating a bird-like sound. Clapsticks were used to establish a drumbeat rhythm on ceremonial dancing occasions. Emu callers (short didgeridoos about 30 cm long) were traditionally used by the Bundjalung when hunting (Eastern Australia Coastal Emus). When striking the emu-caller at one end with the open palm it sounds like an emu. This decoy attracts the bird out of the bush making it an easy prey.
Internationally renowned artist Digby Moran (c.1948–13 January 2020) was a Bundjalung man. His work was frequently exhibited in Germany, and his art is held in regional galleries in Tweed, Lismore and Grafton regional galleries. He was born in Ballina and raised on Cabbage Tree Island, and coastal themes predominated in his artwork. He developed a diamond shape motif in his work, inspired by Bundjalung hunting clubs. He won international awards, and the exhibition of his work in Grafton was the most-visited exhibition ever at the gallery.
Author Melissa Lucashenko is a Bundjalung woman, who won a Walkley Award for non-fiction in 2013 and Australia's most prestigious book award, the Miles Franklin Award, in 2019, the latter for her novel Too Much Lip.
- Badjelang. (paidjal/badjal means "man")
- Bandjalang, Bandjalong
- Bundela, Bundel
- Paikalyung, Paikalyug
- Widje (clan or clans at Evans Head)
Source: Tindale 1974, p. 191
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- Bundjalung of Byron Bay Aboriginal Corporation, representing the Bundjalung and Arakwal people, land and waters
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- "Australia's Sacred Sites Part 5 - Byron Bay"[permanent dead link] ABC Radio's Spirit of Things (October 2002; Accessed 21 May 2008
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- "Badjalang" AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database. Accessed 20 May 2008
- Bunjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) Accessed 21 May 2008
- New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change Aboriginal cultural heritage webpage Living on the frontier Accessed 21 May 2008