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The Tjurabalan (Jura-balan) is a nomadic desert tribe from the edge of the Tanami desert near Sturt Creek and The Paraku Lake system, Lake Gregory[1] in Western Australia.



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.[2]


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.[1] 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.[1]

Native title[edit]

In Ngalpil vs. Western Australia (2001) the Tjurabalan won recognition of their native title rights to 26,000 sq.kilometres of their traditional lands.[1]

Notes and references[edit]

Explanatory notes[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Tran 2016, p. 166.
  2. ^ Herbert 2006.