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The Murrinh-Patha, or Murinbata, are an indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory


Murrinh-Patha, is spoken by about 2500 people, and serves as a lingua franca for several other ethnic groups, such as the Mati Ke or Maridjabin, whose languages are extinct or threatened.[1] It is not clearly related to other languages.


The Murrinh-Patha's traditional lands extrended some 800 sq.miles inland from Wadeye, formerly kinown as Port Keats reaching eastwards the Macadam Range. Its southernj limits lay at Keyling Inlet and the mouth of the Kemoi/Fitzmaurice River (native name Kemol). They expanded southwards in historical times to take over the territory of the Muringura, who were then absorbed into the tribe.[2]

Social organization[edit]

The Murrinh-Patha consisted of 8 hordes.

  • Nagor

Alternative names[edit]

  • Murinbada.
  • Karama (perhaps = 'water folk')
  • Garama, Karaman.
  • Murinkura (apparently a tribe the Murrinh-Patha absorbed, becoming a linguistic group thus designated, the term meaning 'water language.')
  • Nagor
  • Nangu.
  • Mariwada.
  • Mariwuda.[2]



  1. ^ Abley 2003, p. 18.
  2. ^ a b Tindale 1974, pp. 231-232.