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Hazel Walgar has worked with Wangka Maya on many Bayungu resources

The People and their Traditional Country

Bayungu country extends from Point Cloates through to Point Quobba, then stretches east to Manberry Station and north to Winning Pool Station.


In 1998 ownership of Cardabia Station was handed back to the Bayungu people. This station is now run as a pastoral property with Bayungu people working as managers. Cardabia has become the main place where people of Bayungu heritage gather. Murlandia, or Maud’s Landing, was one of the main traditional meeting places where people from all neighbouring language groups came together.


Today, meeting with family, traditional foods and caring for Cardabia Station are some of the very important things for us.


Language Resources Available

Wangka Maya has worked with the Bayungu community to develop the Bayungu Dictionary 2007 and Bayungu Interactive Dictionary 2007, both of which are available from Wangka Maya's on-line shop. The dictionary can also be seen on-line as a Dictionary E-Book. A brochure 'Bayungu Information: Introduction to Bayungu Culture, Heritage and Lifestyles' is also available from Wangka Maya. Contact our staff at reception1@wangkamaya.org.au for more information. In 2011, Wangka Maya plans to publish the Bayungu Phrase Book developed by Hazel Walgar.


Language Information

Bayungu, Thalanyji, Burduna and Binigura are all Kanyara languages and share the same language word, ganyara, which means ‘man’.


Bayungu language is close to extinction as the language is not being passed on as a first language to Bayungu children. Only a few people remember and speak their ancestral language. In 1988 there were estimated to be two full Bayungu speakers remaining.


Bayungu language is classified as being of the Pama-Nyungan, South West, group of languages (nyungic). It is of the Kanyara family of languages and related to Thalanyji, Burduna and Binigura languages.


Past spellings of Bayungu have included: Payungu, Baiyungu, Bayungu, Baiong.


Austin and O’Grady conducted research on Bayungu during the 1970 and made several recordings. Austin produced a wordlist in 1992. Bayungu speaker Hazel Walgar worked with Wangka Maya Language Centre on the recording and analysis of Bayungu language during 2005, 2006 and 2007. This resulted in the production of a dictionary and interactive dictionary CD Rom for use by the community and other researchers.


Cardabia Station

Written example of Bayungu

Ngarri yinhaya Bayungu. Nharnurila bunithu gunjayindiya. Nyinayi bajanma bilyguru majun. Bunggurdi murla nhurndijarri ngarri guthuwalbuga thungguranhura nywardi.



This country is Bayungu. We all go to Cardabia Station. We eat plenty of fish, turtle and this is really important. Also we eat kangaroo and kangaroo tail that we cook in the ground.