Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes
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Walpiri (NT)
LocationLander Creek below Mount Leichhardt; sand plain north of Mounts Turner, Saxby, and Doreen; northwest to beyond the Granites and Mount Frederick; northern boundary along 19° latitude and Winnecke Creek. Western boundaries are with the Ngardi and Djaru tribes close to the Western Australia border. They have for many generations visited Mawuritji, near Lake White, where they have met the Kokatja (of Western Australia) and the Ngardi people for initiation and rainmaking ceremonies. This is one of the tribes called Walmala and Warumala, etc., by surrounding peoples. They have gone as far east as the Hanson River where they are known to the Kaititj as Alpiri, and also as Warumala. Capell applies some of these terms to slight dialects. His Ngardi is, however, the name of a separate western tribe. In the west the Walpiri extend to Banana Springs, southeast of Gordon Downs and southeast across Tanami Desert to Cockatoo Creek and Mount Doreen. Meggitt's inclusion of the Ngalia in this tribe reflects post-1935 changes, although he does not recognize it. The name Wailbri is the arbitrary nonphonetic form developed and taught in the Mission School after 1945. The 16mm films of the University of Adelaide Anthropological Expedition of 1931 show these people. Color plate 25 is relevant.
Co-ordinates131°30'E x 20°10'S
Area53,000 sq. m. (137,800 sq. km.)
ReferencesSchulze, 1891; Mathews, 1899 (Gr. 6445), 1900 (Gr. 6524, 6575); Spencer and Gillen, 1899, 1904; Eylmann, 1908; C. Strehlow, 1910; Brown, 1911; Spencer, 1912; Radcliffe-Brown, 1930; University of Adelaide 16mm films, 1931; Tindale, 1940, 1953 MS, 1963, 1966 MS; Roheim, 1945; Berndt and Berndt, 1946; T. Strehlow, 1947, 1965; Sweeney, 1947; Mountford, 1949, 1956, 1968; Capell, 1952, 1956, 1963; Meggitt, 1954, 1955 (2 papers), 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966; O'Grady, 1957 MS; Thomson, 1960, 1961; Hale in Capell, 1962; Munn, 1962, 1966; Tindale and Lindsay, 1963; Wurm, 1965; Peterson, 1969.
Alternative NamesWalbiri, Waljpiri, Waljbiri, Walpari, Wolperi, Walbri, Wolpirra, Warrabri, Ilpira (chiefly Anmatjera and Aranda term), Alpira (Iliaura name), Ilpirra, Ulperra, Ilpara (Aranda name), Albura (Jangkundjara name since contact made), Elpira, Wailbri (post-1945 European school taught form), Walbrai, Alpiri (eastern pronunciation), Nambulatji (Ngalia name), Njambalatji (name given by Djaru tribe), IlpirŽa, Waringari (implication of cannibalism; name given by other tribes), Walmala (general term), Walmanba, Wanaeka (name given by Ngardi, also Djaru), Wanajaka (Djaru name), Wanajeka, Waneiga, Wanajaga.
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 AA1 Aborigines' Friends' Association

Collection AA108 Francis James Gillen

Collection AA124 Herbert Matthew Hale

Collection AA298 (South Australian Museum)

Collection AA301 (Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer)

Collection AA338 Norman Barnett Tindale

Collection AA346 Board for Anthropological Research

Collection AA357 William Delano Walker

Collection AA676 Marjorie Alice Angas

Collection AA689 Joseph Benjamin Birdsell