Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes
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Wadjari (WA)
LocationNorth to the hills overlooking the head of the Lyons River, Teano Range, Mount Isabella, Waldburg Range; on upper Gascoyne River west of Three Rivers; at Erivilla and Milgun; south to Cheangwa and the Roderick and upper Sanford rivers. The terms Jana, Janu, Njanu, Nanu, and perhaps Ninu, applied in a tribal sense, are variations of a word ['jana], 'to come.' It seems to have the general meaning of 'newcomers,' and as such is not a definite name for any one group. In the eastern part of Wadjari territory it is associated with several groups of ['bidungu] or rock hole water-using people who have drifted southwest out of the desert during recent years of drought.

The Wadjari western boundary, in the Byro and Dalgety Downs area, reflects a late expansion from the Murchison valley. This forced the Kurudandi hordes of the Inggarda to shift westward. The line on the map could have been drawn some 40 miles (65 km.) farther to the east in this area. The tribal name is based, as are so many, on their word for 'no,' ['wadja] or ['wadji]. The hordes in the vicinity of Dalgety Downs claim they are the real Wadjari (the I:rawadjari), but there seems no real justification for showing them as a separate tribe. According to other informants, the place Jagarang (Mount Gould) was the central place in Wadjari territory. This is a remarkably accurate observation as is shown by the map; and the people of that area claim to have kurduwongga, i.e., 'true speech.'

Co-ordinates117°15'E x 26°0'S
Area35,000 sq. m. (91,000 sq. km.)
ReferencesGifford in Curr, 1886; Perks in Curr, 1886; Wells, ca. 1890; Richardson, 1900; Brown, 1912, 1913; Bates, 1913, 1914; Connelly, 1932; Day, 1953 MS; Davidson and McCarthy, 1957; Berndt, 1959, 1964; Fink, 1965; Brandenstein, 1966 MS; Tindale, 1966 MS, 1968 MS.
Alternative NamesWadgaree, Wadjeri, Wajeri, Wajjari, Wajari, Waianwonga, Baialdju (Widi name), Pidong (general term of disrespect meaning 'rock hole people' applied to those who depend on precarious water supplies), Wad'arri, Iirrawad'ari, Irawadjari, Kurduwongga (see above), Kurduwonga, Maliara (means 'east' and is merely a directional term applied to some hordes in the Sanford River area), Miliarra, Miliara, Cheangwa (a place name south of the middle Sanford River), Wardal (of the Barimaia, means 'west,' hence by extension 'westerners'), Yajeri (typographical error for Wajeri), Jamadji (general term for aborigines in contrast with white men-not a tribal term), Yamaidyi.
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