Mirning

Mirning is a language associated with the far west-coast of South Australia, along the Great Australian Bight. There is also a western community on the coast of Western Australia with their own dialect. The coast - especially the head of the Great Australian Bight - is a significant area for the Mirning people, as they have always been connected to water and to whales, the totem animal.

Mirning-Kokatha woman Iris Burgoyne has written an account of her life and her people entitled 'Mirning: We are the Wales' (2000), in which she describes Mirning culture, language, and history. A word list of the Mirning language has been collated by the University of Adelaide which features extracts of notes written by Geoff and Alix O’Grady. Geoff, a linguist, and his wife Alix, a historian, researched and recorded Mirning language between 1959 and 1968, and though their work was very technical, it is now readily accessible thanks to the Mirning word list project. Currently, the Far West Language Centre in Ceduna is undertaking Mirning language revival activities.

Mirning people live in many communities now, including Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Yalata, Port Pirie, Koonibba, and Adelaide.

AIATSIS id : A.09

VARIATIONS

Ba:duk (term used by others, meaning 'circumcised', also can mean 'ignorant'), Baaduk, Bardok, East Meening (term coined by P. W. Schmidt; for West Mining had term Ngad-junmaia), East Mining, Ikala, Ikula, Jirkala-Mining (jirkala / yirkala = ‘buck bush’, an indirect reference to those who live on the cliff top and open plateau) , Julbara, Julbari (means 'south,' term applied by groups to north), Jurgala, Jurgula, Meening, Minal-njunga, Mining (valid alternative pronunciation), Mininj (where j = y), Minnal-yungar, Minning, Minninng, Mirin, Mirning (used by AIATSIS), Mirningj (Brandenstein), Mirniny (used by O’Grady), Murram, Ngadjadjara, Ngadjudjara and Ngadjuwonga (hearsay names applied by Jangkundjara / Yankunytjatjara), Ngandada, Ngandatha, Wanbiri (basic meaning = 'sea coast'), Wanmaraing, Warnabinnie, Warnabirri, Warna-birrie, Wonbil also Wonburi (Kokatha names for the Jirkala-mirning), Wonunda, Wonunda-meening ('wonunda’, basic meaning of 'low country,' hence applies to people living around Eyre and south of the Hampton cliff scarp), Wonunda-minung, Yerkla-mining, Yircla, Yirkala-Mining, Yirkla, Yirola, Yoongar.

 DISCLAIMER:  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.

DISCLAIMER:

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.

+ Reference and Source Archive

AIATSIS. Mirning compilation tapes. 2001. AIATSIS sound collection. [Field tape number(s): A04061, A14053 - 14054, A02027, A02157, A14061. Archive Nos.: 14143 -14144.]

AUSTIN, Peter Kenneth. 1978-1985. Southern Pilbara fieldnotes. AIATSIS collection [- 1 box (12 items), Typescript (photocopy). (1983/1984 Notebooks 8+9).]

BATES, Daisy, (1859-1951). 1913. 'Aboriginal names of places'. Science of Man, Vol.14, no.4, pp.73-76. VIEW HERE [[This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1918. ‘Aborigines of the west coast of South Australia. Vocabularies and ethnographical notes’, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, p. 164. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: This page contains Mirning place names. The rest of the wordlist is Wirangu.] [This material is available from the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1931. [Letter to] Professor Fitzherbert. Ooldea 1931 [7th November 1931]. Held In: Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Full Eucla vocabulary with 13 pages of miscellaneous notes - Jinyila wongga.] ]

BATES, Daisy. 1931. [Letter to] Professor Fitzherbert. Ooldea 1931 [5th April 1932]. Held In: Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Small collection of words & relationship terms from Gauera and Bijarda, west of Eucla (to Israelite Bay).]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Israelite Bay Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 1a; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled from information by Gauera (and a few words from Balgalea) of Jijilandi, Bundi garribinya, Brooks Place, Karura (on top of cliff).]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6 Section XII, 2A, 1b; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled from information by Bijarda of Yaluwarra (70 miles) and Gauera of Jijila ngandi - Israelite Bay.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6 Section XII, 2A, 2; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: compiled by Karndung of Dulina, Jirinya, words of man & his relationships, short sentences.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6 Section XII, 2A, 3; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: compiled by Balgalea of Wongala, man & his relationships, parts of body, elements, vocab. of 18 words.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6 Section XII, 2A, 4; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: no author; parts & functions of body, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, insects, the elements, general vocabulary (approx. 80 words), names of trees, shrubs, etc.; short sentences.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6 Section XII, 2A, 5; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. PAGES 1-16, PAGES 17-28, PAGES 29-43 [[Annotation: compiled by Yalguru, Ijiri, Kamardura & Gubin of Jinyila; names for man & his relationships, parts & functions of the body, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, insects, the elements, gen. vocab. (approx. 340 words), short sentences (7 pages); answers to set questions; diseases peculiar to natives in district, remedies; initiation, cannibalism, method of obtaining water, sorcerer; names of natives in district.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Wongalabila (native name). Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 6; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. PAGES 1-17, PAGES 18-38 [[Annotation: From Eucla notebooks; Compiled by Ngoongulea of Nunginija, Bilbilya of Moondooroo; (approx. 390 words), short sentences (5 pages).]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eyre Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 7; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled by Kulaiji, Ijala, Wardunda of Wongalabiling, Wonanda (Eyre), Kaliambarda, Nalbinya.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabulary. Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 8; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled by Jimmer of Drollinya (near Balladonia Baaduk people).]]

BATES, Daisy. 1904. Native vocabularies - Eucla Magisterial District. Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 9; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled by Wardunda of Murdi-ining; 2 p. of general vocabulary and relationships.]]

BATES, Daisy. n.d. Native vocabularies – Miscellaneous. Held In: Box 6, Section XII, 2A, 10; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Compiled from vocabularies by L.A. Wells (Fraser Range); W. Williams (Eucla and Eyres Sandpatch).]]

BATES, Daisy. 1929. Songs, dances, etc. - Series of ceremonies, Eucla District natives. VIEW HERE [Held In: Box 6, Section XI, 1b (i); Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. ]

BATES, Daisy. 1923. Waterholes of Eucla and Central areas. Held In: Box 3, Section II, 3a; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: Native names given for all waterholes, rockholes, wells & soaks.]]

BATES, Daisy. 1929. Social organization - Eucla district. VIEW HERE [Held In: Box 4, Section III, 4e (i); Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. ]

BATES, Daisy. 1929. Social organization - Relationship terms. VIEW HERE [Held In: Box 4, Section III, 5a; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. ]

BATES, Daisy. n.d. Weapons, arts, crafts - Eucla district. Held In: Box 5, Section 9, 4a; Barr Smith Library Special Collection & National Library of Australia, Canberra. VIEW HERE [[Annotation: gives native names.]]

BRANDENSTEIN, C. G. von (Carl Georg von). 1967 - 1968. Songs, messages, texts and language elicitation from southeastern WA. AIATSIS sound collection. [Archive Nos.: 02150 - 02154; 02156 – 02157. Field tape numbers: 14 - 37.]

BRANDENSTEIN, C. G. von (Carl Georg von). 1907. List of 124 Mirning words, MS. [[Listed in WA Handbook – location unknown.]]

BRANDENSTEIN, C. G. von (Carl Georg von). 1982. 88 grammar text sheets exemplifying grammatical, lexical, and phraseological diversities as well as links of 25 Aboriginal languages from Western Australia. []

CONDON, H. T. (Herbert Thomas). 1955. Aboriginal bird names - South Australia, pt 1 & 2. South Australian ornithologist -- 1955; 21(6/7); pp74-88; (8);pp91-8. [[Annotation: Bird names in Aranda, Pitjantjatjara, Gugada, Antakarinya, Mirning, Wirangu, Yankunytjatjara, Wailbi, Wiljagali, Narangga, Kaurna, Ngadjuri, Bungandidj, Yawarawarga, Potaruwutj, Narrinyeri, Kujani, Yadliyawarra, Parnkala, Warki, Arabana, Dieri, Wangganguru, Ngamini, Nawu, Ngayawung, Nugunu & Ngalea. The wordlists have been taken from various other sources.] [This material is available at the State Library of South Australia and other libraries.]]

DOUGLAS, W.H. n.d. Mirning word list [. [Listed in WA Handbook – Location unknown]]

ELDER, Sir Thomas. 1893, Journal of the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition, 1891-1892. Adelaide: Bristow. [[vocabulary, 107 Minning] [This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

HERCUS, L.A. 1966. Report [to AIAS] on work on Aboriginal languages - April-June 1966. [[Written work on Victorian languages; recordings made of Madimadi, Ba:njgala, Nugunu, Minging, Jeljindji, Gujani in South Australia; also on Andagarinja, Arabana-Wongganguru; third tribe belonging to Araban-Wongganguru group located - Wonggadjaga (AIATSIS).]]

HERCUS, L.A. 1966. Work on Aboriginal languages, December 1965-April 1966. [[Report to AIAS on written work on Victorian languages, especially Wembawemba; field trip to Pt. Augusta and Maree; fragments of Madimadi, Gujani, Jeljindi, Mining, Arabana, Wongganguru, Andagarinja recorded (AIATSIS)]]

HOWITT, A. W. (Alfred William), 1830-1908. 1907. [Notes]. Howitt Papers, Box 8, folder 1, paper 2. [[Native vocabulary of Eucla, Western Australia, MS. AIATSIS MS69 - About 240 words from Mirning, in difficult handwriting.]]

LAWRENCE, J. 1945. Native vocabulary, Eucla Tribe, WA. SA Museum. [Identifier: AA 338/1/30 [180 words listed topically, in Mirning (?).] ]

MATHEW, J. 1899. Eaglehawk and crow, Melville, Mullen and Slade, Melbourne. VIEW HERE [[IAAS 0079 Pages 208-272 give a comparison of 226 words from various parts of Australia, includes list of 'Minning'. The source is the Elder Exploration Expedition (1891-92)]]

MATHEWS, R.H. 1901. 'Some Aboriginal tribes of Western Australia.' Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal and Proceedings, Vol.35, pp.217-222. VIEW HERE [[This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

MILNE, Rod. 1992. Ups and ings: Aboriginal place names of south western W.A. [Perth, W.A.] R. Milne. []

MORPHY, F. 1985. Working notes on Western Australian languages. Part of an ARGS project directed by R.M.W. Dixon. [[Listed in WA Handbook – Location unknown.]]

NASH, David G. (David George). 1998. Goldfields vocabulary. AIATSIS sound collection. [Archive Nos.: 13600 - 13602. Field tape number(s): 18.2, 18.3.]

NASH, David,(1951-). 1999. Nullarbor vocabulary and country. AIATSIS sound collection. Field tape number(s): 19.1; Archive Nos.: Not yet archived. [[Access: Restricted - ceremonial, gender specific or personal material.] [Annotation: Vocabulary, expressions, two songs and reminiscences.]]

NASH, David. 1999. Nullarbor vocabulary and country. AIATSIS sound collection. Field tape number(s): 19.7-19.9; Archive Nos.: Not yet archived. [[Access: Restricted - ceremonial, gender specific or personal material][Annotation: Recording of Arthur Dimer: vocabulary, expressions, stories, and reminiscences during travel in the Nullarbor region.]]

O’GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1968. Mirniny-English. [[Manuscript held by AIATSIS and Adelaide Uni.]]

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1960 [[Transcription of Mirniny vocabulary and expressions excerpted from Hale & O'Grady sound recording, at a windmill 8mi NE Norseman, March 1960. Speaker: Pompom.] Ms. deposited AIATSIS vocabulary included in O'Grady's machine-readable data file WORDS.1, from cards punched at University of Hawaii 1967-8, and in O'Grady & Klokeid 1969 (op. cit.).]

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1959. Language elicitation with Leslie Moore and other speakers. AIATSIS sound collection. [Field tape number(s): 1. Archive Nos.: 14369.]

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1959. Significance of the circumcision boundary in Western Australia. [(B.A. Thesis - University of Sydney).]

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1960. Balardung and Mirning language elicitation. AIATSIS sound collection. [Field tape number(s): 2.1, 2.2, 2.3. Archive Nos.: 14053 - 14055.]

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. 1961. Materials on suffixing languages of Western Australia. Sydney, 1961. AIATSIS print collection. []

O'GRADY, Geoffrey N. & KLOKEID, T.J. 1969. Australian linguistic classification: a plea for coordination of effort. In Oceania - 1969; v.39, no.4; 298-311.VIEW HERE [[This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

REID, N. 1979. Mirning, MS. (see later listing in WA Handbook – location unknown). []

THIEBERGER, Nicholas & YOUNG, Maureen. 1986. Ngatju Project, language elicitation and songs, WA. AIATSIS sound collection. [Field tape numbers: GH0001 - 2, Compilation.]

THIEBERGER, Nicholas & YOUNG, Maureen. 1987. Coolgardie language elicitation and site discussion, WA. AIATSIS sound collection. [Archive Nos.: 14063 - 14066. Field tape number(s): T/Y 1 - 4.]

THIEBERGER, Nicholas. 1993. Handbook of Western Australian Aboriginal languages south of the Kimberley region. Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. [Electronic access:http://coombs.anu.edu.au/WWWVLPages/AborigPages/LANG/WA/contents.htm] See Mirning entry.]

WELLS, L.A. 1893. 'Vocabularies of words and phrases with translations', pp.192-207 in Journal of the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition, 1891-2. Adelaide. Bristow. VIEW HERE [[107 words of ‘Minninng’ at Frazer Range] [This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

WILLIAMS, W. 1886. 'Vocabulary no.34, Eyre's Sand Patch: Wonunda Meening Tribe'. In Curr, E.M. The Australian race: its origin, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. Melbourne. Government Printer: Vol. 1, pp.394-399. [[This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

WILLIAMS, W. 1886. 'Vocabulary no.35, Eucla: The Yircla Meening Tribe'. In Curr, E.M. The Australian race: its origin, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. Melbourne. Government Printer: Vol. 1, pp.400-406. [[This material is available at the State Library of South Australia, Barr Smith and other libraries in Adelaide.]]

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