Gambara Gamu Biyu
Nggerrikwidhi language


The Nggerrikwidhi Language, also spelt Nggerikudi, is spoken by the Yupungathi People on Western Cape York Peninsula.

The following Nggerrikwidhi language words are included on the Gambara Gamu Biyu body chart poster – use the language pen to hear and practice saying the words.

Aboriginal sounds

In pronouncing Aboriginal words, there are some sounds which are quite different to English and require practice.

'dh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at back of teeth.

'dj' is similar to English - it can be between ‘j’ and ‘ch’.

'ng' is one sound in Aboriginal languages and is different to the 'n' sound in English - it is closest to the 'ng' sound found in singer.

'nh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at back of teeth.

'ny' is one sound in Aboriginal languages and is different - it is closest to the 'n' sound found in onion.

'rr' is a rolled 'r' sound similar to a Scottish 'r'; at the end of a word it may sound like ‘d’.

Download the Body Chart Nggerrikudi wordlist (PDF 158.7 KB)

English Nggerikudi
Arm d’aga
Belly ra
Body mboa
Chest oni
Chin engau
Ear wo'a
Elbow muto
Eyebrow b’ada
Eyes adae
Foot / toes goa
Finger / hand a
Forehead bai
Hair nga
Head troka
Leg tena
Lip enga
Liver koi-itichi
Shoulder daru
Skin kaie
Teeth / small bone abau
Tongue puduna

Learn more about Nggerikudi!

Read about some of the contact history of the Yupungathi people who were removed to Mapoon Aboriginal Mission, near Weipa. Mapoon Shire Council:

Further details

To discover more about the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages on the Body Chart, contact your local Library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre. The following pages provide details on additional sources of information regarding the Nggerikwidhi language.

References and Further Reading

Selection of resources on Nggerrikwidhi language available through State Library; some of these may also be available in your local Library.

Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. John Ferres Government Printer: Melbourne. RBF 572.994 cur
Haddon, A. (1971) Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Strait. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation. Q 994.38 CAM
Holmer, N. (1988) Notes on Some Queensland Languages. Australian National University: Canberra. J 499.15 HOL
Howitt, A.W. (reprint) (1996) The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. Australian Studies Press: Canberra. [Available online through SLQ]
Nekes, H., Wurms, E. and McGregor, W. (2006) Australian Languages. Berlin: Mouton De Fruyter. J 499.15 NEK
Oates, W. (1962) Gugu Yalanji and Wik Munkan Language Studies. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Q 499.15 guy
Presbyterian Church of Queensland (1861-1984) R 216 Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Queensland Records 1861-1984. R 216
Sutton, P. (ed) (1974) Languages of Cape York: papers presented to the Linguistic Symposium, Part B, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Biennial General Meeting, May,1974. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: Canberra. G 499.15 1976
Sutton, P. (1995)
Wik-Ngathan dictionary. Caitlin Press: Prospect, SA. Q 499.15 SUT

Community Organisations

There may be local Aboriginal Community organisations that are working with Nggerrikwidhi language – contact the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Mapoon.

Further Details

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

kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
PO Box 3488, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
t: (07) 3842 9836  f:   (07) 3842 9893

SLQ Indigenous Languages Webpages
SLQ Indigenous Languages Blog

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