Miriwung people

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The Miriwung are an indigenous Australian people of the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.


Miriwung one of the three surviving tongues of the Jarrakan languages, the word jarrak meaning language, talk, speech. Miriwung is on the verge of extinction with only 20 fluent speakers remaining.[1]


Miriwung traditional lands stretched over some 4,000 square miles (10,000 km2) From the south, at the Ord river valley north to Carlton, and upriver to Ivanhoe Station. Its eastern flank lay just across the border with the Northern Territory, at Newry Station. They dwelt also along the Keep River down to the coast.[2]

Running clockwise from the north, the neighbours of the Miriwung (excluding the poorly attested Doolboong, were the Gadjerong, then on the northeastern flank the Jamindjung, followed by the Ngarinman due east. The Gija at their southern confines and the Ngarinjin to their west.[3]

Alternative names[edit]

  • Miriwun, Miriwong, Mirriwong.
  • Miriwu (a Gija exonym)
  • Moreng ('westerners), Mirong, Mirung.[2]

Modern times[edit]

Most traditional Miriwung live in Kununurra and outlying stations.[1]

Some words[edit]



  1. ^ a b McGregor 2013, p. 40.
  2. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 248.
  3. ^ AIATSIS.
  4. ^ McGregor 2000, p. 12.


  • "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS.
  • "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
  • McGregor, William B. (2000). "Cockatoos, Chaining-Horsemen, and Mud-Eaters: Terms for "Policeman" in Australian Aboriginal Languages". Anthropos. 95 (1): 3–22. JSTOR 40465858.
  • McGregor, William B. (2013). The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-39602-3.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Miriwung (WA)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.