The People and their Traditional Country
Binigura traditional country is along the Ashburton River between Nanutarra and Wyloo Stations, and around the Hardy River junction. It may also have stretched north and east to Duck Creek and the Hammersley Range, and south beyond the Ashburton River.
A 2004 survey by Wangka Maya Language Centre could not identify a single full speaker of the Binigura language. A few people were recognised as having a partial or passive understanding of the language. Many more people identify as being from Binigura heritage but speak other languages.
Many Binigura people live around the Carnarvon to Onlsow southern region of the Pilbara in Western Australia. Binigura people have intermarried with other language groups, in particular with Bayungu, Thalanyji and Burduna people. Most Binigura people speak other languages, including English.
Binigura Traditional Country. (Picture by Nadine Hicks)
Language Resources and Recordings
The earliest recordings of Binigura are by O’Grady in 1966. Austin had conducted research and produced a Binigura wordlist. Wangka Maya Language Centre undertook exhaustive research to recover all material related to the Binigura language and to thoroughly canvas for speakers. No full speakers were found.
Binigura is classified as being a Pama-Nyungan language of the south-west (Nyungic) group. Its family is the Kanyara group of languages which includes the closely related languages of Thalanyji, Bayungu and Burduna. Binigura is an extinct language in that there are no speakers and very few people who recall more than a few words or phrases of the language.
Binigura has also been spelled as Pinikura or Pinigura.
Written Examples of the Binigura Language
He fell from the tree.
Buniguraya barlgarrala yugarri.
Go out and stand on the flat.
Gumbagu warniguthi mayangga.
He/she sits down all the time at home.
Ngatha yarrugarriru bajalgura mandugu.
I want to eat meat.
Gumbama nganha nyindanha mirlijaru.
Sit down or I’ll beat you.
Wanthabura nyinda bunigu?
Where are you going?
Bunthagarnu gajalbu marnunha.
Dig a hole for emu.
Spinifex on Binigura Country. (Picture by Nadine Hicks)