Yuwibara body parts

Yuwibara is the name of the language of Aboriginal people of the Mackay region – often it is listed under the broad term of Yuri or Birri which refers to groups of related languages in North Queensland, extending from Marlborough to Townsville.

There is not much documentation on the Aboriginals of the Mackay region. Most of what we know about Yuwibara language has been provided by G. F. Bridgeman, who was the Superintendent of the Aboriginal Mission at Port Mackay. This mission was one of the first established in Queensland and operated from 1870-1885.

As Aboriginal languages were oral-based, the spelling of Yuwibara and Yuwibara language may differ in historical documents and other sources; for example Yuwibara has also been spelt Juwibara, Yuipera, Yuwiburra and Yuibera. It was also referred to as Yuwi. There are also other language/dialect groups within the Mackay Region that may be related to Yuwibara.

The following list identifies parts of the body and their suggested pronunciation.

Download Yuwibara body parts  (PDF 234.8 KB)

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.

EnglishYuwibaraPronunciation
AnkleBumugulBoom-uh-gull
BeardNgungaNoong-ah
BloodGoomaGoo-mah
BoneBulbunBull-boon
EarWallooWal-loo
EyeDilliDill-ee
FootDinnaDin-ah
HairKownoCow-no
HandMullaMull-ah
HeadKuttaKoot-tah
KneeBuhnBoon
LegToomoToo-mow
NoseBootanBoo-tun
ShoulderWingaraWin-ah-rah
SkinBittyBit-tee
StomachBunnaBoon-ah
TeethYirraYear-ah
TongueTalliaTar-lee-ah

Learn more about Yuwibara!

Listen to Nadine McDonald-Dowd, former Manager of kuril dhagun talk about her identity as a Yuwibara / Yuibera woman in this video.

Uncle Gary Mooney, a Traditional Elder from Mackay has made a short digital story for ABC Open – watch it here: https://open.abc.net.au/explore/90786

North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre supports community language revival in the region; for more information visit their website: www.nqraclc.com.au

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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