Language of the Week: Week One - Abodja
Welcome to Week One of the A-Z of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages!
Starting with A, this week's language of the week is Abodja, a language spoken on Western Cape York.
Abodja is more commonly referred to as Wik Paach and was traditionally spoken in the Archer River Delta. Following the establishment of missions, people were moved from their traditional lands to the Aurukun community.
This language belongs to a genetic language family (shared origins) which includes: Wik-Mungkan Y57; Wik-Iiyanh Y177 and Y172; Wik-Ngatharr Y51; Wik-Ep Y52; Wik-Me'anh Y53; Wik-Keyangan Y173; Mungkanho; Kugu-Uwanh Y176; Kugu Muminh Y43; Kugu-Ugbanh Y175 and Kugu-Mu'inh Y53 (Sutton, 1993:32).
According to Austlang, there are minimal speakers of Abodja language - words may have been absorbed into daily usage by Wik Mungkan language speakers of Aurukun. Abodja and other Cape York language communities are supported by the Pama Language Centre.
On the State Library Spoken exhibition webpages, view a digital story featuring Perry Yunkaporta and other Aurukun community members sharing their stories of Wik Munkgan and neighbouring languages.
Join State Library for next week's Language of the Week - Birria from Western Queensland!
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
Spoken: Celebrating Queensland languages exhibition
Jarjum Stories exhibition
Minya Birran: What next for Indigenous Languages?
References and Further Reading
State Library collections have some material relating to Abodja or Wik Paach; however, these are part of texts or items referring to the Wik Mungkan group of languages. Relevant items in the collections include the following:
27458 Aurukun Mission Records 1960-1974
Kilham, C., Adams, J., Bell, J. and Namponan, G. (1986) Dictionary and source book of the Wik-Mungkan language. G 499.15 1986
Korkaktain, V. (2008) Minh Nga'an Wichan = Catching fish told & illustrated by Venita Korkaktain. JUV A823.4 KOR
Oates, W. (1964) Gugu-yalanji and Wik-munkan language studies. Q 499.15 guy
Pootchemunka, M, Wolmby, M. and Kowearpta, A. (2007) Moon story. Told by Minoota Pootchemunka, Mary Wolmby & Alice Kowearpta ; translated from Wik-Mungkan by Pat Pootchemunka & Koppa Yunkaporta ; illustrated by Jack Bell. JUV 899.153 POO
Sayers, B. and Kilham, C. (1969) Wik-Munkan primer. P 499.15 SAY
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. G 499.15 1976
Sutton, P. (1995) Wik-Ngathan dictionary. Q 499.15 SUT
Thanakupi, G. F. (2007) Thanakupi’s guide to language and culture: a Thaynakwith Dictionary. Q 305.899 THA
Tindale, N. B. (1974) Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits and proper names. Q 994.0049915 tin
Yunkaporta, S. (2009) Boat-ang mo'pul (in Wik Mungkan) = Two in a boat (in English). Told and illustrated by Steve Yunkaporta. JUV A823.4 YUN