Waranga News

Speaking Ngurai-Illum Wurrung


Imagining the Country


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Ngurai-Illum Wurrung Country place names


There are at least 40 names on or near Ngurai-illum Wurrung country that appear to be of Aboriginal origin. Some of those names would have been derived from the Ngurai-illum Wurrung language. It would be good if we could identify which ones were, because it could give us a little insight into a language that all but disappeared within a short time of the arrival of European colonisers.

Aboriginal place names


Aboriginal place names Ngurai-illum Wurrung country has a large number of Aboriginal place names, possibly a greater percentage than the Victorian average of 27% of all names listed in the Australian Gazetteer. The first thing to note is that some of these names may not even be from the Ngurai-illum Wurrung language. They may have been adapted from other places where the European colonisers had been, then applied to the local area.

Cooking methods


The last story speculated about how the local Ngurai-illum Wurrung people heated water to make up a decoction of wattle bark, which was used for various medicinal purposes. That begs the question about which methods were used for cooking food.