The combined population of the tribe in 2003 was approximately 1200 people
The Tjurabalan dwell in the Tanami Desert, in proximity to the Ngurrara, and encompasses the communities of Ringer Soak (Kundat Djaru), Billiluna, Mulan and Balgo. The Coyote Gold Mine is also located within the native title of the Tjurabalan people.
The Tjurabalan did not have much contact with whites until the 1950s since no extensive development projects had been envisaged for their area down to that time. The explorers David Carnegie and Alfred Canning crossed their region, both being in the habit of capturing aboriginals and coercing them into revealing where fresh water springs might be found. Carnegie denied them water until their thirst made them collaborate. Canning had chains and neck padlocks manufactured which he applied to kidnapped aboriginals in order to force them to guide his party to water.
Notes and references
- Herbert, Bronwyn (5 June 2006). "Gold mine brings new opportunities to the Tanami Desert". ABC Rural.
- Tran, Tran (2016) [First published 2015]. "The (Non-Legal) Guide to Meaningful Recognition: A Case Study from the Canning Basin, Western Australia". In Sillitoe, Paul. Indigenous Studies and Engaged Anthropology: The Collaborative Moment. Routledge. pp. 163–179. ISBN 978-1-317-11722-3.
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