Waka Waka body parts

Waka Waka is the name of the language and Aboriginal people of the Burnett Region – Waka Waka is also documented by several other names, including Wakka Wakka, Wokka, Woka-Woka and Woga.

The language area includes several dialects and extends across the South and North Burnett regions and takes in the communities of Cherbourg, Kingaroy, Gayndah, Mundubbera, Jimna and the Bunya Mountains. AIATSIS have identified Waka Waka as the standardised spelling and assigned it Language Code E28 which is used by many collecting institutions, including State Library of Queensland in their catalogue descriptions.

There is a significant amount of documentation on the Waka Waka language from first contact in the 1840’s with several lexicons, wordlists and other vocabularies. Linguistic work by Rev John Mathew and recent linguists such as Holmer means there is an accompanying grammar to provide clues on how the language was constructed and spoken. Unfortunately, there are minimal speakers and there is a real concern that the language is not spoken on a daily basis in communities to keep Waka Waka as a thriving, living language.

This wordlist is drawn from historical and community sources and identifies language words for the parts of the body and their suggested pronunciation.

Download Waka Waka body parts (PDF 323.9 KB)

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were oral-based; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. The following list should be seen as a guide - check with local language speakers/custodians as to the preferred local pronunciation.

EnglishWaka WakaPronunciation
AnkleWuluWoo-loo
ArmGiningGeen-inn
ArmpitWamgirWarm-gear
BackBurumBoo-rum
BacksideMundiMoon-dee
BeardYikkaYick-ah
BloodDirDe-ah
BoneGiraGear-ah
CalfBuyuBoo-yoo
CheekWangaWon-ah
ChinYikkaYick-ah
EarBinangBin-ung
ElbowKulumurKool-oo-moor
EyeMaMah
EyebrowDhipinDee-pin
EyelashBuel-buelBewl-bewl
FaceNgwarIng-wah
FingerNaNah
FingernailGillinGill-lin
FootDjinangGin-ung
HairGamGam
HandNaNah
HeadMauMaw
HeartDuDoo
IntestinesGunangGoon-un
KneeBundurBoon-door
LegDjangarJun-gar
LipsDhamburDum-burr
MouthDhamburDum-burr
NeckWandaWun-dah
NoseMiMee
ShoulderWaliWah-lee
SkinDumeeDoo-mee
StomachMuMoo
TeethDiangDee-ung
ThighDjungorJung-or
Toe/ToesDjinangGin-ung
TongueDunamDoo-nam

Learn more about the language and culture of Cherbourg

The Ration Shed Museum has an online archive Cherbourg Memory to explore the lives, histories and cultures of the people of Cherbourg; view images and other stories relating to the theme of language and culture.

Winifred Fisher Knowledge Centre (IKC) Cherbourg has recently been established to support local community culture and history. The centre is located in the Old Youth Respite Centre and can be contacted via phone 07 4168 1866 or email: cherbourgikc@outlook.com

Further details

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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