Speakers of the Djabugay language include not only the Djabuganydji people but the Nyagalindji, Gulunydji, Bulwanydji and Yirrganydji. All these peoples spoke one ngirrma, one language.

Bulway, Nyagali, Guluy, Yirrgay are all dialects of Djabugay and so their speakers could understand each other. Today, however, knowledge of these dialects has been lost.

The map shows the extent of the area over which Djabugay and its dialects were spoken. The groups speaking these dialects inhabited lands both on the coast and coastal range and on the tableland. This map is from Patz 1991 and is based on work by Ursula McConnel (1939) and communication with Gilpin Banning.

Language Map

languages map“The groups speaking these dialects inhabited a triangle from just south of Cairns to just north of Atherton, then northward along the Barron River and on to Mount Molloy, then meeting the coast again between Port Douglas and Mossman….

The Djabugay-speaking group the Djabuganydji, apparently occupied the largest territory, including a long stretch along the Barron River.” (Elizabeth Patz, 1991)


dictionary coverDjabugay dictionary