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Map of Victoria Aboriginal tribes

The Dadi Dadi or Tatitati are an Australian Aboriginal tribe whose traditional lands are located along the southern banks of the Murray River in Victoria Australia.


The Dadi Dadi language is a nearly extinct member of the Lower Murray languages, which form a branch of the Pama-Nyungan language family. During the 1960s and 1970s samples of the language were recorded by Luise Hercus.[1] The language is related to Yita Yita.[2] Most of the tribal names of this group (Nari-Nari, Barapa Barapa, Latjilatji, Warkawarka, Watiwati, Wemba-Wemba) are formed by a reduplication of the word for 'no' in their respective languages, the word 'tati' bearing that sense.[3]


The Tatitati lands, according to Norman Tindale, extended over 900 square miles (2,300 km2), covering the area from Euston to 15 miles (24 km) above the Murrumbidgee junction. Though mainly concentrated on the southern bank of the Murray River, they also ranged as far north as Benanee.[4] As part of the Murray–Darling basin, the area's history of human habitation goes back some 27,000-36,000 years.[5]

Social organization[edit]

The Tatitati, much like the Latjilatji, were divided into two moieties, the Kailpara and Makwara,[6] with descent from the mother's side.

History of contact[edit]

Smallpox and other introduced diseases had already ravaged the Murray Valley aboriginal population before the actual establishment of colonial 'runs' or pastoral properties in the region.[7] Charles Sturt in 1830 described a particularly dire state of ill-health, ascribing it to leprosy.[8][9] During colonial times bodies were removed from five aboriginal burial sites by George Murray Black, along the New South Wales side of the Murray River[10] and are now part of the Murray Black Collection.[11] The repatriation of these bodies is now being sought, by tribal groups.

Alternative names[edit]

  • Darty-Darty
  • Nimp-mam-wern (lit. 'light lip')
  • Tataty, Tatatha, Tat(h)i, Ta-ta-thi, Tar-tarthee, Ta-tathi, Taa-tatty
  • Tunggut

Source: Tindale 1974

Some words[edit]

  • bet. (father)
  • malol. (wife)
  • met. (father's father)
  • mim. (father's mother)
  • paka. (mother's mother)
  • tamburay. (frilled lizard)
  • ŋak (mother)
  • ŋatai (mother's father)

Source: Brown 1918, p. 250



  1. ^ Endangered 2015.
  2. ^ Hercus 1989, p. 56.
  3. ^ Radcliffe-Brown 1930, p. 226.
  4. ^ Tindale 1974.
  5. ^ Balme & Hope 1990, p. 97.
  6. ^ Brown 1918, p. 250.
  7. ^ Webb 2009, p. 14.
  8. ^ Webb 2009, p. 155.
  9. ^ Sturt 2011, p. 148.
  10. ^ Prince 2015, pp. 9–13.
  11. ^ Webb 2009, pp. 6, 13–14.