A51: Kartujarra

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Mardu (Gardujarra)
Ethnologue name
Martu Wangka [Kartujarra]
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Katudjara, Katatjara, Kardudjara, Gadudjara, Wal-mala (of Niabali), Orailku (of Nangatara), Ngadari (['?atari] = strangers).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Kadadkara, Kiadjara, Kurdu [<ozbib>Dixon 2011:48$7367</ozbib>]
Kartutjarra, Martu Wangka, Katutjara, Katudjara, Katatjara, Kardudjara, Gadudjara, Wal mala, Orailku, Ngadari

Marsh says that Kartujarra is one of the languages (in addition to Manjiiljarra A51.1 and Putijarra A54) on which the Jigalong language Martu Wangka A86 is based (1972, in Thieberger 1993:124). Further, the Handbook notes that the name Martu Wangka is sometimes also used as an alternative name for Kartujarra (A51) and some other languages spoken by Martu people (Thieberger 1993:194).

See also Western Desert language A80.


  • Dixon, Sally. 2011. How to read and write Pilbara languages. South Hedland: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.
  • Marsh, James L. 1977. The notion of balance in Mantjiltjara grammar. In Language problems and Aboriginal education, eds E. Brumby and E. Vászolyi, 25-33. Perth: Mt Lawley CAE.
  • Thieberger, N. 1993. Handbook of the Western Australian Aboriginal Languages South of the Kimberley Region. Pacific Linguistics Series C-124. Canberra: RSPAS, ANU.
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

From Well 22 (n.n. Madaleri) on northern side of Lake Disappointment, southwestward to the vicinity of Canning Stock Route Well 12 (n.n. Pulpurumal), westward on the south side of the Rudall River to Robertson Range and eastern headwaters of the Jiggalong Creek, also the headwaters of Savory Creek; southwestern boundary not well known (Tindale 1974).

... areas from the south of Lake Disappointment toward Lake Carnegie (Marsh 1977).

Western side of Lake Disappointment, near Percival Lakes; Marsh (1990 p.c.) says Kartujarra country is west and north-west of Lake Disappointment, and may extend south-west of there as well (Thieberger, 1993:193). 

Contemporary location: Strelley, Jigalong, Parnngurr, Wiluna, Newman, Nullagine (Dixon 2011:48).


  • Tindale, Norman. 1974. Tribal boundaries in Aboriginal Australia. Canberra: Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development.
  • Tonkinson, Robert. 1991. The Mardu Aborigines: living the dream in Australia's desert, 2nd edn. Fort Worth, Texas: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Sharp, Janet and Thieberger, Nick. 2001. Wangka Maya, the Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. In Forty years on, eds J Simpson et al., 325-335. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
James Marsh, Elizabeth Sailor, Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre
Indigenous organisations: 
Year Source Speaker numbers

Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.

Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Small (20-100 pages) 2
Text Collection Less than 20 pages 1
Grammar   1 (on Martu Wangka)
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available

Sailor, Elisabeth, Brenada Sailor and Barbara Jones. 2003. Kartujarra Wangka 1  A Kartujarra  Book of Spelling and Kartujarra Wangka 2 A Book of Kartujarra Sentences. Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre


Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2001. Kartujarra wordlist: based upon a reformatting [sic] of the wordlists of J.L. Marsh. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.

Burgman, Albert. 2005. Kartujarra Dictionary and Topical Finder Lists. Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.


Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan South-West Wati Martu Wangka [Kartujarra] Martu Wangka [dialects: Manyjilyjara (Mantjiltjara), Kartujarra (Kartutjara, Kardutjara, Kadaddjara, Kardutjarra, Kiadjara, Gardudjara, Gagudjara), Puditara (Budidjara, Putujara), Yulparitja (Yilparitja, Yulbaridja), Wangkajunga (Wangkajungka). Mantjiltjara and Kartutjara are two ethnic groups speaking almost identical dialects. High inherent intelligibility between Yulparitja and Wangkajunga. Speakers of the 4 dialects can use the same written language with possible minor adjustments, including vocabulary change, partly needed because of cultural identity factors.]
Dixon (2002)       Kartutjarra The Western Desert language. dialects: (a) Warnman, (b) Yulparitja, (c) Manjtjiltjara (or Martu Wangka), (d) Kartutjarra, (e) Kukatja, (f) Pintupi, (g) Luritja, (h) Ngaatjatjarr, (i) Ngaanjatjarra, G) Wangkatha, (k) Wangatja, (l) Ngaliya, (m) Pitjantjatjarra, (n) Yankuntjatjarra, (o) Kukarta
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan South-West   Gardudjara  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan South-West Wati/Western Desert Gardudjara  
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Western Desert Proper Wati Gardudjara  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Southwest (or Nyungic) Western Desert Language Katutjara  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Southwest Wati Kardutjara