S61: Eora

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Eo-ra (['eora] = men or people), Ea-ora, Iora, Yo-ra, Kameraigal (fide McCarthy, 1946, and pers. comm. 1958, is a hordal name; he preferred-Eora as the term for the tribe), Kem:arai (name of the northern portion of Port Jackson), Kemmaraigal, Camera-gal, Cammera, Camerray-gal, Cam-meray, Kemmirai-gal, Gweagal (name of horde on southern side of Botany Bay), Bedia-mangora, Gouia-gul, Gouia, Botany Bay tribe (horde), Wanuwangul (horde near Long Nose Point, Balmain, and Parramatta), Kadigal (horde on south side of Port Jackson), Caddiegal.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Biyal Biyal (from biyal 'no') [ALRRC]
Sydney, Iora, Gamaraygal, Iyora, Biyal Biyal, Eo ra, Ea ora, Yo ra, Kameraigal, Kem:arai, Kemmaraigal, Camera gal, Cammera, Camerray gal, Cam meray, Kemmirai gal, Gweagal, Bedia mangora, Gouia gul, Gouia, Botany Bay tribe, Wanuwangul, Kadigal, Caddiegal, Cadigal, Gadigal

Kohen (1993:22) describes two dialects of Darug S64: the coastal Eora dialect and the inland dialect, spoken by the 'woods tribes', the bediagal-tuagal-tugara. He does not give a name for this dialect.

According to Attenbrow (2002:34-35), some anthropologists and linguists used this term as a group or language name, but there is no evidence to suggest that Aboriginal people used the term Eora to refer to a specific group or language. Attenbrow says that this term is now used to refer to the original inhabitants of the area between Port Jackson and Botany Bay, or sometimes the entire Sydney region, and the language of this area is a (coastal) dialect of Darug S64.

Steele (2005:5-6) also says that Eora is neither language nor people name but simply the word for 'man'. He proposes Biyal-Biyal as an alternative name, explaining the reasoning for this and taking, as support, a quote from Meston in Smith (2004:3): 'but they were not speaking the old Beeahlba dialect of the Sydney blacks'.

Troy describes two dialects of the Sydney language, she indicates that neither Dharug (S64) nor Eora S61 are in the historical record as language names; written variations of the word Eora are defined as 'people, Aboriginal people' (2019: 37).


  • Attenbrow, Valerie. 2002. Sydney's Aboriginal past: investigating the archaeological and historical records Sydney: UNSW Press.
  • Capell, Arthur. 1970. Aboriginal languages in the south central coast, New South Wales: fresh discoveries. Oceania 41(1), 20-27.
  • Fraser, John ed. 1892. An Australian language as spoken by the Awabakal, the people of Awaba or Lake Macquarie. Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer.
  • Kohen, James. 1993. The Darug and their neighbours: the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Sydney region. Blacktown: Darug Link in association with Blacktown and District Historical Society.
  • Steele, Jeremy Macdonald. 2005. The aboriginal language of Sydney: a partial reconstruction of the indigenous language of Sydney based on the notebooks of William Dawes of 1790-91, informed by other records of the Sydney and surrounding languages to c.1905, Macquarie University: MA.
  • Troy, Jakelin. 1994. The Sydney language. Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press.
  • Troy, Jakelin. 2019. The Sydney language. 2nd edition. Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press.

  • Wafer, Jim, and Amanda Lissarrague. 2010. The Kuringgai puzzle. 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.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

(re: Eora and Kuringgai) ... the Sydney Peninsula (north of Botany Bay, south of Port Jackson, west to Parramatta), as well as the country to the north of Port Jackson, possibly as far as Broken Bay (Attenbrow 2002:34).

... as far north as the (southern side) of Broken Bay (Smith 2004:21 in Wafer & Lissarrague 2008:163).


Jakelin Troy
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 None 0
Grammar Small grammar (100-200 pages) 3
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
not available

Steele, Jeremy Macdonald. 2005. The Aboriginal language of Sydney: a partial reconstruction of the Indigenous language of Sydney based on the notebooks of William Dawes of 1790-91, informed by other records of the Sydney and surrounding languages to c.1905, Macquarie University: MA.


Troy, Jakelin. 2019. The Sydney language. 2nd edition. Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press.

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)          
Dixon (2002)   SYDNEY SUBGROUP*   Iora, Gamaraygal Dharuk possible further dialect names: Gamaraygal, Iora
Wurm (1994)          
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Yuin-Kuric Iyora Iyora Dharuk [dialects: Guringgai (Kuringgai), Iyora]
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Yuin-Kuric Iora Iora  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Yuin-Kuric Kuri Iora (Yora)  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)