AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
Kogai language
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Mandandanji (Kogai), Kunggari (Kogai), Barunggam (Kogai)
Tindale (1974)
Mundaeinbura, Mundainbara, Kogai, Cogai, 'Fishing Net people. Unggari, Kungeri, Kungri, Ungorri, Gungari, Gunggari, Goon-garree, Coongurri, Unggri [sic], Unghi, Congaro, Kogurre, Kogai (language name; note that northern hordes of the Mandandanji also use this term), Ngaragari (Koamu term for language between Bollon and Nebine Creek). Barungam, Parrungoom, Murrumgama, Murrun-gama, Murrumningama, Kogai (this name is used also for the language of tribes to the west), Gogai, Cogai.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Benhedore, Jabulajabula, Kogai, Narinari, Ngarimawuru, Yabula Yabula, Yabulayabula, Gogai, Mandandanji, Kunggari, Barunggam, Mundaeinbura, Mundainbara, Cogai, Fishing Net people, Unggari, Kungeri, Kungri, Ungorri, Gungari, Gunggari, Goon garree, Coongurri, Unggri, Unghi, Congaro, Kogurre, Ngaragari, Barungam, Parrungoom, Murrumgama, Murrun gama, Murrumningama

Mandandanyi D44, Gunggari D37 and Kogai could all refer to the same language, spoken roughly in the area where Tindale located Mandandanji D44 and Kunggari D37. The names Gunggari and possibly Kogai originate in a Wangkumara L25 word for 'east', 'kungkari', while the name Mandandanyi comes from the word 'manda' meaning 'go', a word found in the Maranoa-Balonne-Nebine area. From the location of Kogai given by Ridley (1875) and Mathews (1904), it appears 'Kogai tribes' might include Guwamu (Kooma) D33 (Breen 2006 p.c.).

Tindale (1974) uses Kogai as the name of the language spoken by the Mandandanji D44, Kunggari D37 and Barrungam D40, but Kite (2004) treats Barunggam as a dialect of Waga-Waga E28.

In this database, Kogai is treated as a language name and Mandandanyi D44, Gunggari D37 and Guwamu D33 are treated as potential dialects of Kogai although, as Breen says, these terms could just be alternative names for Kogai.

In one of a series of fact sheets, the Condamine Alliance (2013) explains that Kogai refers to a cluster of related languages along the Maranoa-Balonne River including Barrunggam, Mandandanji and Gunggari. According to the fact sheet, Kogai is related to the Maric languages to the west (Gunggari and Bidjara), but also shares some vocabulary with Mandandjanji to the east. The Alliance reports that, though Ridley and Mathews located Kogai along the Coogoon, Maranoa and Balonne rivers, it is not identified by Traditional Owners.



  • Condamine Alliance. 2013. Languages of the Condamine. Toowoomba, Qld: Condamine Alliance. (L 040.003/4)
  • Condamine Alliance Aboriginal Program. 2014. Aboriginal Languages Project. Toowoomba, Qld: Condamine Alliance.
  • Kite, Suzanne, and Stephen A. Wurm. 2004. The Duungidjawu language of southeast Queensland: grammar, texts and vocabulary: Pacific Linguistics 553. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Mathews, Robert Hamilton. 1904. Language, organization and initiation ceremonies of the Kogai tribes, Queensland. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 36(1):28-38.
  • Ridley, William. 1875. Kámilarói, and other Australian languages, second edition, revised and enlarged by the author, with comparative tables of words from twenty Australian languages, and songs, traditions, laws and customs of the Australian race. Sydney: Thomas Richards, Government Printer.
  • 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: 

... west of the Balonne, on the Maranoa and the Cogoon (Ridley 1875).

... southern Queensland, in the area watered by the Balonne, Maranoa and Coogoon Rivers and extending westerly towards Wallam Creek (Mathews 1904).

Mandandanji: Maranoa and Balonne rivers north of St. George; west to Bollon and Wallam Creek; north to Donnybrook, Orallo, Yuleba, and the Dividing Range; east to Alton and Glenmorgan; at Mitchell, Roma, and Surat (Tindale 1974).

Kunggari: Upper Nebine and Mungallala creeks from Bonna Vonna and Ballon north to Morven and Mungallala. Extended eastward and partly absorbed the Mandandanji in early historic times (Tindale 1974).

Koamu: South of St. George on the Balonne River to Angledool, Hebel, and Brenda; west to Bollon and Nebine Creek; at Dirranbandi (Tindale 1974).


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 Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection Less than 20 pages 1
Grammar A few articles 1
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available (content unclear)
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)          
Dixon (2002)          
Wurm (1994)          
Walsh (1981)          
Oates (1975) Unclassified     Gogai  
Wurm (1972)          
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)