Walgalu people

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The Walgalu culture was one of three Aboriginal cultural groups identified by Norman Tindale to historically inhabit the area now occupied by the Australian Capital Territory. According to Steven Avery, culture group boundaries in southeastern Australia are disputed, due in part to the inexactitude of linguistically assigned boundaries and the uncertainty of historical records.[1] In his 1974 book Aboriginal Tribes of Australia Norman Tindale, who described language groups as 'tribes',[2] had identified that the specific areas where Walgalu speakers lived were the:

headwaters of the Murrumbidgee, and Tumut rivers; at Kiandra; south to Tintaldra; northeast to near Queanbeyan. Parkes obtained some details from a Wiradjuri man at Brungle under the name Guramal or Gurmal. (These notes also apply in part to the Ngarigo). Both tribes were to him ['guarai], or hostile people. The Walgalu spent their summers in the Bogong Mountains ['Bu:ga:?] southeast of Tumut. This tribe was omitted in error from my 1940 work. Mrs. J. M. Flood has drawn my attention to Howitt's note saying that the Walgalu went as far as Kauwambal on the upper Murray River, which she identifies as between Mount Kosciuszko and Mount Cobberas. It can perhaps be assumed that they extended their bogong-gathering forays by following the highlands along the eastern border of Djilama-tang territory.[3]

According to some scholars, the language of the Walgalu is a form of Ngarigo.[4][5][1] However, the Cooma local government website differentiates between the two groups, stating that "the two main groups on Monaro were the Ngarigo people of the tablelands and the Wogul or Wolgalu group in the high country.'"[6] Shane Mortimer told the National Indigenous Times in 2012 that Walgalu is a language, and that Ngambri and Ngurmal speak Walgalu.[7]


  1. ^ a b Steven Avery (1994). "Aboriginal and European Encounter in the Canberra Region". Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes". South Australian Museum Archives. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Walgalu (NSW)". South Australian Museum. Archived from Walgalu the original on 29 July 2008. 
  4. ^ http://www.kunama.com/custlaw/BIB.HTM#Dixon1980 Dixon 1980: 241, Dixon, R.M.W (1980). The Languages of Australia. Cambridge University Press, New York.
  5. ^ http://www.kunama.com/custlaw/BIB.HTM#McBryde1986 McBryde 1986: 44, McBryde, I (1986). "Artefacts, language and interaction: a case study from south-eastern Australia." in Bailey, G & Callow, P (eds.), Stone Age Prehistory: studies in memory of Charles McBurney. Oxford University Press, New York: pp 77-93.
  6. ^ "Aboriginal People of Monaro". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Shane Mortimer, entrepreneur and traditional owner chats about: My Ngambri mob and looking after country". 9 August 2012. 

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