Kokatha language is a part of the Western Desert language dialect chain. The Western Desert encompasses a large expanse of land in the centre of the country, and traverses the state borders of Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. Kokatha is historically associated with the north and west of South Australia. Kokatha is also one of the Far West Coast languages, along with Mirning and Wirangu. Kokatha people live in many places in South Australia, including Ceduna, Koonibba, Port Augusta, and Adelaide.

In 1972, linguist John Platt published a grammar of the Kokatha language. Currently, the MLT is in partnership with the Far West Language Centre in Ceduna to research Kokatha language and establish on-country language activities.

AIATSIS id : C.03


Baduwonga, Ba:du wongga, Cocotah, Cocotha, Cookutta, Geebera (eastern term), Gogada, Gogoda, Gugada, Kakarrura (as 'karkurera' means 'east'; applied apparently to the group west of Lake Torrens), Keibara (i.e., 'plain turkeys' - a derisive term), Kikataja, Kokata (used by SIL), Kokata east, Kokatha (used by AIATSIS), Kokita, Kokitta, Koocatho, Koogatho, Koogathoo, Koogurda, Kookata, Kookatha, Kotita, Kotit-ta, Ku-gurda, Kugurda, Ku:gurda wongga (wongga = ‘speech’), Kugurda wongga, Kukata, Kukataja, Kukatha, Kukada, Madutara (An-takirinja term), Madu-wonga (Arabana, also Yankunytjatjara / Jangkundjara term), Marduwonga (by Arabana), Matuntara, Nganitjiddia, Nganitjidi, Nganitjini ('those who sneak and kill by night,' a derogatory name applied by Nauo and Pangkala), Wanggamadu, Wanggamardu, Wongamardu, Yallingarra (based on cardinal term 'alindjara' meaning 'east'; representing the g as dj). 

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Kokatha Teaching Materials 2005-2007

Staff at the University of Adeliade undertook this project, which was funded by DEWHA’s Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) program and Cultural Strategic Initiatives…

Raising Language Awareness for West Coast Aboriginal Languages 2006-2007

This project was undertaken by Tjutjunaku Worka Tjuta Inc. and was funded by DEWHA’s Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) program and Cultural Strategic Initiatives…

Co-ordination of West Coast Indigenous Languages, 2008-2009

The purpose of this project was to provide a base that ensures the participation of community members in language activities. Facilitate activities that focus on teaching and learning…

West Coast Aboriginal Languages, 2010-2011

The purpose of this project was to document and promote community use of three critically endangered Indigenous languages of the west coast of South Australia - Kokatha (Gugada), Mirning,…

Language Contact

Kokatha Mula Nations Land Council
35 Flinders Terrace
Port Augusta 5700

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The above map is based upon the Horton Indigenous Map of Australia © Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, and Auslig/Sinclair, Knight, Merz, 1996. The full map is available on the AIATSIS website. The locations of the languages of SA, as stated on the this website are not intended for Land Claim use, and are an approximate guide only. Individual language project locations are based on information from publicly available MILR (ILS) documents.