Australia’s attitude to its indigenous people has changed dramatically over the centuries and still has a long way to travel. Recording early indigenous material presents major dilemmas for any folklorist as the material is often racist and sexist. My job is to record such material and I would caution anyone wishing to use this material in a detrimental way.
North Head (Sydney)—“Boree”
South Head (Sydney)—“Cuttai”
Middle Head (Sydney)—“Cubba Cubba”
“Timbrebungie“ means Big Bend. In particular a large bend in the Macquarie River, twenty miles below Dubbo.
Dubbo—“ White clay or sand.”
Minore—“ All about.”
Wollombi—“ Meeting of the Waters.” A village situated sixteen miles south-west from Maitland, where two streams meet.
Potts’ Point (Sydney)—“ Carrajeen.”
Lady Macquarie’s Chair (Sydney)—“ Yurong.”
Darling Point (Sydney)—“ Yaranabe.”
Manly Beach (Sydney)—“ Cannae.”
Cockatoo Island (Sydney)—“ Warrieubah.”
Goat Island (Sydney)—“ Memel.”
Hawkesbury River—“ Deerabubbin.” The aboriginals suffered at times from a disease very like small-pox, called by them “ Galgala.”
Botanic Gardens, Farm Cove (Sydney)—“ Yoolaugh.”
Milson’s Point—“ Kirribilli.”
Parramatta Parramatta eels sit down.
Manaro Manaro the navel.
Minyago yugilla—Why weepest thou ?—is the name of a fountain springing out of the side of a mountain near the Namoi.
Manilla (River) Muneela round about
Culgoa (River) Culgoa running through
Boggabri Bukkiber-i place of creeks
Drill dool Tareel dool place of reeds
Piliga Bilagha head of scrub oak
Breewarina Bureewarrina trees (acacia pendula)
Yarra Yarra flowing, flowing
Mooki (River) Mook-i flinty
Guligal Guligal long grass seed
Molroy or Miiroy Murrowolaroi having hedgehogs
Narrabri Nurra-bur-i forks
Bundarra Bundarra place of kangaroos
Balal Balal bare, barren
Pokataroo Bukkitaro river going, wide
Barwon Ba-wun great (river)
Gundamaine Gundi-my-an house on the stream
Gwydir (River) Gu-i-da place of red (banks)
Gunedah Gunneda place of white stone
Dromedary Mountain Culag-o
Fort Bourke Wurtamurtah
Lachlan (River) Colai
Names of some of the aboriginals of Sydney in the first days of the colony :—
Barangaroo”—Wife of Benelong.
Dilboong”—Name of native girl living in Sydney.
Mangoran “—A chief of Sydney.
Ballooderry “—Son of Mangoran.
Bedia Bedia “—Chief of Parramatta.
Source: In 1879 J. A. Heaton published a ‘Book of Dates’ relating to the early years of the Colony of New South Wales.
It is an extraordinary work and provides facts, figures and observations on a wide range of ‘colonial doings’. All spelling, including place names, has been left as per the original documents.