Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes
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Kokatja (WA)
LocationAbout Gregory Lake and east to the area of the Pallotine Mission at Balgo North to Billiluna with a boundary water shared with the Djaru at Ngaimangaima, 12 miles (20 km.) south of Kandimalal (Wolf Creek Meteorite Crater); west to the Canning Stock Route wells from Godfrey Tank, n.n. ['Koninara], south to Well 40, n.n. ['Marawuru], the ['Nadawalu] of the Nangatara, their western neighbors with whom their only contact, at Kuljai (Gula, Tank 42 on maps) many years ago, had been hostile.

Father Worms met the Kokatja both south and east of Gregory Salt Sea (Lake) during journeys in 1948 and 1950.

Several different southern groups have come into Kokatja territory by following the Canning Stock Route northeastward since its development in 1910. These detached peoples usually are given the designation Julbaritja ('southerners'). More than one have been mentioned by authors in this region. Capell (1940) called one such group, west of Sturt Creek, the Julbre. The term is, of course, not tribally limited and it is useless as a distinguishing label.

Western hordes of the Kokatja were called Nabijangkadjara and spoke 'heavy Kokatja.' They had associations with eastern hordes of the Walmadjari who were known as Wangkatjunga. Figure 11 shows a Kokatja man's sketch map of his country and his opinion of the placement of other tribes.

The Kokatja language name is Nambulatji. This term is used also for the Walpiri in central Australia, perhaps indicating former closer contacts. The Walmadjari to the west call them ['tjilparta] because they appear tall to them.

Davidson's 1938 map shows the name of the Balgo Mission as if it were a tribal name, Balgu, and 150 miles (240 km.) out of position in a west-southwesterly direction.

Co-ordinates127°5'E x 20°45'S
Area11,900 sq. m. (30,900 sq. km.)
ReferencesCapell, 1940; Worms, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 MS, 1954; Tindale, 1940, 1953 MS, 1956 MS; Birdsell, 1954 MS; Australian Encyclopedia, 1958; Berndt, 1965.
Alternative NamesGogada, Gogadja, Gugudja, Gogoda, Gugadja, Kukuruba (of Ngalia tribe), Pardoo (applied to western hordes), Julbaritja (a general term from ['julbari] meaning south, term not tribally limited), Julbre (Capell's version), Ilbaridja, Nambulatji (language name), Bedengo (lit. 'rock hole people' implying shiftlessness), Bidong, Bidungo, Peedona, Peedong, Pidung, Pidunga, Manggai (name of a key southern watering place probably near 12740'E. x 2120'S), Wangkatjunga (southwestern hordes), Wangatjunga, Wangatunga, Wangkatunga, Wangkadjungga, Wankutjunga, Wanaeka, Wangu, Panara (general term for grass seed gatherers; see additional note under Northern Territory tribe Ngardi), Bunara, Boonara.
This information is reproduced from NB Tindale's Aboriginal Tribes of Australia (1974). Please be aware that much of the data relating to Aboriginal language group distribution and definition has undergone revision since 1974. Please note also that this catalogue represents Tindale's attempt to depict Aboriginal tribal distribution at the time of European contact.

Collection AA338 Norman Barnett Tindale

Collection AA346 Board for Anthropological Research

Collection AA689 Joseph Benjamin Birdsell