Page:Ethnological studies (Roth).djvu/62

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The Miorli have only of late years amalgamated with the Boulia District aboriginals so far as general friendly intercourse and trade relationship is concerned, a circumstance which will explain the fact that while many of their words possess roots in common with those given in the contiguous lists (section 52, &c.), there is a large proportion of others which are totally peculiar and independent. The Miorli language seems, indeed, to connect that of the Goa (Upper Diamantina), itself allied by common roots to the Woonamurra and Mitakoodi (Upper Flinders and Cloncurry) with the Pitta-Pitta and other Boulia District dialects. Again, in the lists of words of the Wonkajera and Ulaolinya, two neighbouring tribes of the Boulia District, are to be found a few roots in common with one another, yet distinct from those belonging to the district in general: a proportion of these common roots indicates a connection with the language of the Undekerebina aboriginals occupying the contiguous Toko country.

The Boulia District tribes, whence words have been chosen for comparison, are the Pitta-Pitta, Wonkajera, Ulaolinya, Karanya, and Miorli. Unfortunately, I never succeeded in obtaining a reliable Yunda or Yellunga vocabulary—e.g., a dialect spoken in the northerly portions of the district.

46. The Leichhardt-Selwyn District includes the Selwyn Ranges and the highlands (Barkly Tableland, &c.) drained by the Leichhardt and various tributaries (e.g., Buckley River, Moonah Creek) of the Upper Georgina: its southern limits extend to Chatsworth, Mount Merlin, and Buckingham Downs. In the main, this area may be described as wild mountainous country, watered by natural springs. It is occupied chiefly by the Kalkadoon tribes, though in what particular portion of it is their main camp, if any, it is difficult to learn. Messmates of theirs are the Workoboongo, Injilinji, and Oborcondi. Their eastern and northern neighbours, the Mitakoodi of the Cloncurry District, sometimes speak of these Kalkadoon as consisting of two main divisions—the Muntaba (i.e., southern) and the Roongkari (i.e., western). It is the southern Kalkadoon who are referred to throughout the following text. Contrary to what might have been expected, there are very few words or roots common to the Leichhardt-Selwyn and Cloncurry Districts, which, being contiguous, have their lists (section 52, &c.) accordingly placed in apposition.

47. The Cloncurry District comprises all the country drained by the Cloncurry River and its branches as low down as its junction with Dismal Creek. It is occupied by the Mitakoodi, with their head encampment at Fort Constantine: around Canobie messmates of theirs are the Mikoolun and Miubbi. On the west and south this district is bounded by Kalkadoon, and on the east by Woonamurra, country.

48. The Woonamurra inhabit the watershed of the Saxby and Flinders, as far as Cambridge and Richmond Downs, an area which for present purposes may be referred to as the Upper Flinders District. Southwards it extends to the Ranges and to Kynuna, where it becomes contiguous with Goa country. The Nouun tribes at Mullangera are messmates both of the Woonamurra and Mitakoodi. Both the latter, as well as the Wommin, come to barter here at Mullangera.

49. In the Upper Georgina District, stretching along the river between Roxburgh and Carandotta and onwards, with head-quarters at the latter locality, are the Elookera or Walookera, a small tribe using words absolutely distinct, showing no traces of contact with neighbouring peoples. The Yunnalinka, who also had their head-quarters at Carandotta only a few years ago, are now probably extinct. Beyond the Walookera are the comparatively numerous Yaroinga, scattered from between Urandangie and Headingly; these extend northwards along the Georgina as far as Lake Nash, and westwards along the course of Gordon's Creek. Here the Yaroinga come into contact with the Undekerebina of the Toko Ranges and surrounding country, with whom they are friends and messmates, and, as will be noticed in the lists referring to their respective dialects, the similarity of many of their words is very marked. The Yaroinga are also messmates with the powerful and warlike Workia people, who live north of them.