A6: Maduwongga

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
Martu Wangka language
ABS name
Martu Wangka
Horton name
Ethnologue name
Martu Wangka
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Mardo, Marduwangga [<ozbib>Dixon 2011:51$7367</ozbib>]
Martu Wangka, Manjtjiltjara, Martu, Wangka, Mardu, Budijarra, Gardujarra, Giyajarra, Kartudjara, Keiadjara, Mandjildjara, Manyjilyjarra, Potidjara, Wanman, Jindi, Julbaritja, Kabul, Maduwangga, Maduwonga, Mardo, Mardudjara, Yindi, Marduwangga

This has been confused with Martu Wangka A86. Though the name is very similar, from the locations described for each they appear to be distinct language varieties. Tindale places Maduwongga much further south than the location described for Martu Wangka.

There is very little information available for Maduwongga. Note also that some sources (e.g. Oates 1975 and O'Grady et al. 1966) give Maduwonga as an alternative name for Gugada C3, while the location Tindale describes overlaps with the location of Wangkatha A12.

Mardo in Oates and Oates (1970:73) appears to correspond to Maduwongga (A6), based on the location of Mardo on their map, while Mardo in Oates (1975:374) seems to correspond to Martu Wangka A86 from the description given.

Previously both Maduwongga and Martu Wangka were assigned to the same code, A6. They now have distinct authorised headings; A6 now relates only to Maduwongga and A86 is used for Martu Wangka. AUSTLANG previously had these codes reversed but this has been corrected to reflect the original assignment of A6 to Maduwongga.

Thieberger (1993) includes Maduwongga in two Western Desert language A80 lists: Manjiljarra A51.1 and Kartujarra A51.

Note that the ABS does not make a distinction between Maduwongga and Martu Wangka A86 so census data may combine information on both. 



  • Oates, Lynette F. 1975. The 1973 supplement to a revised linguistic survey of Australia. Armidale: Armidale Christian Book Centre.
  • Oates, William J., and Lynette F. Oates. 1970. A revised linguistic survey of Australia: Australian Aboriginal Studies 33, Linguistic Series 12. Canberra: AIAS.
  • O'Grady, G. N., C. F. Voegelin and F. M. Voegelin. 1966. Languages of the world: Indo-Pacific fascicle six. Anthropological Linguistics 8(2).
  • 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 Pinjin on Lake Rebecca west to Mulline; from a few miles south of Menzies to Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Kanowna, Kurnalpi, and Siberia (Tindale 1974). There is a native title claim made by Maduwongga people for the area between Menzies and Kalgoorlie.

  • Davenport, Sue, et al2005. Cleared out: first contact in the Western Desert. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
Joshua Booth, James Marsh, Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre, Western Desert Puntukurnuparna Aboriginal Corporation
Year Source Speaker numbers
1990Schmidtincl. with Ngaatjatjara

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 Large (more than 200 pages) 4
Text Collection Small (20-100 pages) 2
Grammar   2?
Audio-visual 1-10 2
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available (Bates)

Marsh, Jim. 1980. Lessons for learning Martu Wangka (unpublished).


Marsh, Jim. 1992. Martu Wangka-English Dictionary. Darwin: Summer Institute of Linguistics. Burgman, Albert, Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2005. Martu Wangka Dictionary and Topical Finderlist. South Hedland: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2007. Martu Wangka dictionary 2007. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. (CD Rom)

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan South-West Wati Martu Wangka 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)       Manjtjiltjara (or Martu Wangka) 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)          
Walsh (1981)          
Oates (1975) Unclassified     Mardo (deleted)  
Wurm (1972)          
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)