Ngarkat (SA)

LocationMallee scrub belt east of Murray River; Alawoona south to Pinnaroo, Taunta, Keith, Tintinara, and Coonalpyn; east to Tatiara and about Murrayville, Vic. Six hordes were listed by Humphries. Water supplies principally were from mallee roots and therefore camps were widely dispersed. A few native wells were present. In times of drought they watered at Devon Downs Rock-shelter (Ngautngaut) on the Murray River, their permitted entry track down the cliff can still be seen 50 yards (45 m.) south of the shelter. In mythology Ngautngaut was a Being who lived in the mallee country and was killed when kneeling to drink water (Mathews, 1904: 367 [Gr. 6452]). It was at Devon Downs Rock-shelter and at Tartanga nearby that the archaeological sequence for the last 8,500 years was first established in Australia. Eyre being tone deaf to initial ng heard the tribal name as Arkatko. A language name was Marditali applied by westerners to other eastern people (see comment under Marditjali tribe, Victoria).
Co-ordinates140°20'E x 35°25'S
Area8,700 sq. m. (22,600 sq. km.)
ReferencesEyre, 1845; Angas, 1847; Taplin, 1874; Smyth, 1878; Humphries in Taplin, 1879; East, 1889; Fraser in Threlkeld, 1892; Mathews, 1898 (Gr. 6560, 6464); Cameron, 1900; Howitt, 1904; Eylmann, 1908; Howchin and Gregory, 1909; Hale and Tindale, 1930; Tindale, 1939, 1940 and MS, 1964 1968 MS; McEntee, 1945; R. G. Kimber, 1969 MS.
Alternative NamesNgerget, Ngarkato, Ngeruketi (Maraura term), Arkatko, Merkani (Jaralde and Tangane term, means 'enemy'), Merkanie, Ratarapa (Nganguruku term), Mangkarupi (Jarildekalde term), Boraipar (language name), Baripung (['barip] = man), Boripar, Booripung (MS), Tatiari (regional name for mallee desert), Thatiari (general term used by Tanganekald, sometimes included the Potaruwutj), Duwinbarap (eastern term ['barap] = man), Doenbauraket, Tjakulprap (southeastern term ['parap] = ['barab] = man), Jakalbarap, Jackalbarap, Jacke-gilbrab, Jakel-baluk (Wotjobaluk term), Ngalundji (a name for language), Nalunghee, Wularuki (name for southwestern group), Baine Hill tribe (horde around Lameroo).
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