Mirning (WA)

LocationFrom east of Port Culver to White Well, So. Aust., at head of Great Australian Bight; inland normally only to edge of the treeless karst plateau of the Nullarbor Plain, but after big rains they ventured far inland to the inner edge of the open country. Two or more hordes named after localities, including Wonunda- and Jirkala-mirning (['mirning)] = ['mi:ning] = man, Wonunda = a place = Eyre Sand Patch; Jirkala = Eucla). The Wonunda-mirning were on the Hampton plateau chiefly west of Eyre Sand Patch. The important ceremonial meeting place for these two hordes was a water called Jadjuuna, 5 miles (8 km.) south of Cocklebiddy at 126°7'E x 32° 7'S. These people practiced rites of circumcision and subincision but their knowledge of the associated ceremonies was considered incomplete by northerners. The members of this tribe were relatively short in stature and those seen in 1939, all old people, were small. Mathew (1899) confused the Wonunda Miming with the entirely separate tribe, Minang of King George Sound, 500 miles (800 km.) farther west. The Jirkala-mirning name has an ecological connotation, indicating the wide expanse of treeless plain where the lowly buckbush is a prominent shrub. Their language name was Ngandatha, based on the phrase 'What is it?'
Co-ordinates128°0'E x 31°10'S
Area39,000 sq. m. (101,400 sq. km.)
ReferencesRoe in Fison and Howitt, 1880; Graham in Curr, 1886; Williams in Curr, 1886; Mathew, 1900; Mathews, 1900 (Gr. 6448), Williams in Howitt, 1904; Bates, 1918; Schmidt, 1919; Basedow, 1925; Elkin, 1931, 1940; Tindale, 1928 MS, 1934 MS, 1939 MS, 1940, 1966 MS, 1968 MS; Tindale in Condon, 1955; Australian Encyclopedia, 1958; Ethell, 1958 verb. comm.; Wurm, 1963; Wells, ca. 1890 (no given date).
Alternative NamesMining (valid alternative pronunciation), Meening, Minninng, Mininj [sic], Ngandatha (valid alternative), Ngandada, Wanbiri (basic meaning = 'sea coast'), Warnabirrie, Wonbil also Wonburi (Kokata names for the Jirkala-mirning), Wonunda-meening (['wonunda], basic meaning 'low country,' hence the name aptly applies to the section of the tribe living around Eyre and south of the Hampton cliff scarp), Wonunda-minung, Warnabinnie, Wanmaraing (MS), Jirkala-Mining (['jirkala] = buck bush, an indirect reference to those who live on the cliff top and open plateau. Williams (p. 40) has another explanation for the name), Yirkla, Yirkala-Mining, Yerkla-mining, East Meening (term coined by P. W. Schmidt; for West Mining, see Ngadjunmaia), East Mining, Ikala, Ikula, Ngadjudjara and Ngadjuwonga (hearsay names applied by Jangkundjara), Ngadjadjara, Julbari (means 'south,' term applied by tribes to north), Julbara, Ba:duk ('circumcised' also can mean 'ignorant' because they had not received all the rites accompanying subincision to which they had been introduced only recently.)
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