N85: Yugul

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages, nec (Jugul)
Horton name
Ethnologue name
Mara [Yugul]
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Yukul, Jokul, Yikil, Yookil, Yookull, Yookala, Yikul.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Yukul, Njugul [Top End Handbook]
Arnhem Land, Daly River Region Languages, Jugul, Mara, Yukul, Jokul, Yikil, Yookil, Yookull, Yookala, Yikul

There is no linguistic data available on Yugul, but Harvey (2008) and Baker (c 1996) list it as a separate language. Harvey (2008) reports that on the basis of place names, Yukul appears to be closely related to Marra N112.

The Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation represents seven clans of south east Arnhem Land, including the community at Ngukurr.

Brett Baker (2010) looks at the evidence for Yukul (N85) and suggests that, based on indirect linguistic evidence and inferences about social organisation from historical records, it was 'an ethnolinguistic identity on a par with 'Ngalakgan' N77, 'Marra' N112 and so on', likely decimated by conflict with pastoralists soon after contact in the late 1800s.

The Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation represents the seven clans of South East Arnhem land. 


  • Baker, Brett. c1996. New Top End Handbook (FileMaker database). (AILEC 0626).
  • Baker, Brett. 2010. Who were the 'Yukul'? In Indigenous language and social identity: papers in honour of Michael Walsh, eds B. Baker, I. Mushin, M. Harvey & R. Gardner. Pacific Linguistics 626. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • 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.
  • Harvey, Mark. 2008. Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages: land-language associations at colonisation. AILEC 0802.
  • Harvey, Mark. 2008. Proto Mirndi: a discontinuous language family in northern Australia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation https://yugulmangi.com.au/index.php/about/
Potential no data
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

Roper River, around Ngukurr (Top End Handbook).

Vicinity of Leichhardt Bar (Urapunga) and on the south bank of Roper River at mouth of Hodgson River; north to Mount Favenc (Tindale 1974).

The following places were associated with Yukul: Ngukurr, St Vidgeon homestead, Nawaparr Gorge, Namiliwirri Lagoon. The most certain general association of Yukul was to the lower Roper, other than the mouth which was associated with Warndarrang. Given the linguistic connection to Marra, it would appear that there was a common boundary with Marra. Given the known territorial affiliations of Alawa, Marra, and Warndarrang, this common boundary was most plausibly between the middle Towns River the Limmen Bight River. As such, it appears that the middle Towns was associated with Yukul. There was no precise information in 2007 on the affiliations of the drainages originating in the southern side of Downers Range. However, names such as Namiliwirri suggest that some at least of this was associated with Yukul (Harvey AILEC 0802).

The Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation represents the seven clans of South East Arnhem land. On the Northern side of the Roper, these lands extend from Blue Mud Bay across toward Bullman, down the Wilton River Valley to Roper River and out to the Gulf. On the Southern side of the river the lands extend from west of Buddawka to the Hodgson River and includes the Towns River and Limmen River systems and coastal areas between. This area includes the newly declared Limmen National Park and the Mara Land Trust.


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 None 0
Text Collection None 0
Grammar None 0
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
not available
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Gunwingguan Maran Mara Mara [Yugul] Mara [dialects: Related to Warndarrang and Yugul, which may be extinct.]
Dixon (2002)   ARNHEM LAND GROUP Marra/Warndarrang subgroup* Yugul Marra (or Marranbala) Heath (1981a) possible further dialect: Yugul
Wurm (1994) Maran Mara   Yugul  
Walsh (1981) Maran Mara Gariyimar Yugul  
Oates (1975)       Yugul  
Wurm (1972)          
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)