Kukatja (NT) (NT)

LocationWest of Gosse Range and Palm Valley on the south MacDonnell Ranges; south to Tempe Downs; southwest to Lake Amadeus, George Gill Range, Cleland Hills (Merandji), Inindi near Mount Forbes, and Thomas Reservoir (Alala); on upper Palmer, Walker, and Rudall creeks. Not to be confused either with Kokata of South Australia, the Kokatja of the area near Gregory Lake in Western Australia, or the Kukatja of Queensland. In the work of C. Strehlow these people were called by their Aranda name, Loritja, which has a derogatory significance. In 1929 I was asked by old men of this tribe to refrain from using the term imposed on them by the Aranda and to record their 'true' name- Kukatja. For an authoritative statement on the status of the word Loritja, see T. G. H. Strehlow (1947:177). Mathews (1907:362 [Gr. 6488 and also in Gr. 6515]) gave a far too wide area for his Loritja group, not recognizing that he was defining the whole area where Pitjandjara type languages were present. His vocabulary data shows he was dealing with the Kukatja of the western MacDonnell Ranges. Elkin (1931) unfortunately followed Mathews by using the name for the widespread Western Desert Languages of Pitjandjara type.
Co-ordinates131°30'E x 24°15'S
Area10,300 sq. m. (26,800 sq. km.)
ReferencesSchulze, 1891; Willshire, 1891; Spencer and Gillen, 1899; Mathews, 1900 (Gr. 6448), 1901 (Gr. 6453), 1906 (Gr.--), 1907 (Gr. 6488, 6515); Leonhardi, 1907; Eylmann, 1908; Basedow, 1908, 1925; C. Strehlow, 1910; Bates, 1918; Tindale, 1929 MS, 1940, 1951 MS, 1956 MS, 1957 MS, 1964 MS; Cleland, 1930; Cleland and Fry, 1930; Elkin, 1931; Roheim, 1933; T. G. H. Strehlow, 1944, 1947, 1965; Australian Encyclopedia, 1958; Berndt, 1959; Harney, 1960; Worms, 1963: 235; Platt, 1967; Tindale and George, 1971.
Alternative NamesKukadja, Kukacha, Gugadja, Gugada, Gogadja, Kukata (in error), Loritja (Aranda term, derogatory; sometimes collectively applied by them also to other despised western tribes), Luritja, Luritcha, Loritcha, Lurritji, Luridja, Lo-rit-ya, Aluridja, Loorudgie, Loorudgee, Juluridja, Uluritdja, Aluratji (Ngalia term), Aluridia (Pintubi and Pitjandjara term), Aluratja (Iliaura term), Western Loritja (of C. Strehlow).
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