Kala Kawaw Ya language

Kala Kawaw Ya is spoken in the Torres Straits, particularly the top Western Islands group of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu, as well as the communities of Bamaga and Seisia at the tip of Cape York, which were originally settled by people from Saibai in the 1950s.

The following Kala Kawaw Ya language words are included on the Gambara Gamu Biyu body chart poster – use the language pen to hear and practise saying the words.

Note: the following list should be seen as a guide only; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. Check with local language speakers/custodians as to the preferred local pronunciation.

Download the Kala Kawaw Ya body chart (PDF 183.7 KB)

English Kala Kawaw Ya
Ankle danakuku
Arm geth
Belly maytha
Belly button maythakup
Blood kulka
Body gamu
Bone ridh
Bottom kup
Chest da
Chin ibu
Ears kawra (singular)  kawral ( plural)
Elbow kudu
Eyebrow boeybasam
Eyes purka (sg)  purkal (pl)  
Face paru
Feet/Foot san
Finger/s dhimur(sg)    dhimural(pl)
Forehead poewth
Hair yalbup
Hand geth
Head kuyk
Heart ngoenakap
Hip pasikap
Kidney pulipul
Knee kulu
Leg ngar
Lip iragud
Liver sib
Mouth gud
Neck mudul
Nose piti
Nostril koerab
Shoulders thabay
Skin goengaw
Teeth dhang (sg) dhangal (pl) 
Thigh dokap
Thumb kuyku dhimur
Toes sanaw dhimur(sg) sanaw dhimural (pl)
Tongue noey
Wrist pertha

Learn more about Kala Kawaw Ya

Listen to stories in Kala Kawaw Ya at Retold

Further information

To discover more about the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages on the Body Chart, contact your local Library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

Community Organisations

There are several local Torres Strait Islander Community organisations working with language and cultural heritage in the Torres Strait region and NPA, including the following:

State Library of Queensland

For further information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages at the State Library of Queensland, please contact:

Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
PO Box 3488, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
t: (07) 3840 7666            f:   (07) 3842 9126


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