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A description of the Tribal Boundaries and Natural Features

Firstly, the Wiri people are a totally independent, linguistic and cultural group (tribe) in their own right. However the Wiri people have close affiliations with other groups to the north, west, and south. These groups are predominately the Birria people to the north, the Jangga people to the west, the Kangoulu people to the south west towards Clermont, the Barada people in the south on the lower Isaacs and McKenzie Rivers and the Kounjimal people to the south, on the coast and coastal ranges.

The Wiri Tribe was split into a number of intricately interwovan social groups, (family groups, or closely related groups), sometimes called "Clans" that mainly occupied different areas within our tribal boundaries. These main groups or clans are known as the :

  • tuljunburra; "tuljun" meaning hill or mountain, these were the mountain people, the group that occupied the coastal ranges, the Denham Range and the central highlands.
  • guguburra; "gugu" meaning salt water and fish eaters, these were the island people, the group that occupied the coastal areas and the offshore islands.
  • yuwiburra; "yuwi" or euri meaning meat or meat eaters, these were the mainland group, that occupied the Pioneer Valley and the coastal plains. The word Yuipera is a European bastardisation of the Wiri language.

There are other small groups such as the Kungulburra that occupied the Connors Range and Funnel Creek area. This groups probably disappeared during the killing times.

The Wiri participated in a number of mutually beneficial marriage and adoption alliances with our neighbours; the Birria, Jangga, Barada and Kangoulu peoples.

The Wiri Peoples Tribal Boundary

The Wiri people's country is described as being in central Queensland, including the offshore islands. This country includes all the land on the coast, the Pioneer Valley the coastal plains and much of the central Highlands, in particular the Denham Range.

The Wiri people's country commences at about the mouth of the O'Connell River, it takes in all of the upper O'Connell River. The lower part of O'Connell River is a shared area with the Birria Tribe. The clan in this area is the Gia-kaba. They are part of the Birria Tribe. As such, the Wiri people's country does not include the Andromic River. The boundary then goes through the dip in the Clarke Range, just south of Mt Hector. One through the Clarke Range the boundary is south of the Normanby Range and takes in all of Urannah Downs Station. Then across to the junction of the Broken River and Upper Bowen Rivers. The boundary then goes between the Redcliff Tableland and Mt Lesley. The boundary then goes across to about Glenden and continues on the northern and western side of the Denham Range till its junction with the Peak Downs Range, taking in Logan Downs Station. The Peak Downs Range is in Kangoulu country. The boundary then goes from the north eastern boundary of Peak Range National Park about Cumberland Downs, on the southern side of the Denham Range, north and east taking in Olive Downs Station, south of Broadley, south of Coppabella, south of Oxford Downs then across to Yarrayonga Point. The Wiri country includes all of Cape Palmerston and all offshore islands, north of Cape Palmerston and south of the mouth of O'Connell River.

The Wiri people have a strong spiritual relationship with their country and in particular have a personal relationship with those places and features that have a very special spiritual connection to and gives a cultural significance to the being Aboriginal. These places and natural features include; the Pioneer River, Broken River, O'Connell River, the upper Bowen River, and upper Isaac River , the Murray Creek, Plain Creek, Exe Creek, St Helens Creeks, the headwaters of the Suttor River, Logan Creek, Cherwell Creek, Nebo Creek, Dennison Creek, and Funnel Creek, the Redcliffe Tableland, the Clark River, Normanby River, Black Wall, Burton Range, Connors Range (northern end), Pisgah Range, Pinnacles Range, Denham Range, Kerlong Range, Carborough Range and Burton Range and the Balaclava Mountain and Blue Mountain.

Dhanna is Stand
Yurabaya is proud and or strong


  • Youndu Yubu Goo - You got
  • Yunningba Yuming Bullie Guthinga - Your telling lies
  • Gurra Gnia - No I didn't
  • Mubu Burrie - Sorry
  • Youndu Gniabah Gnia Duju - Tell me after
  • Goonunn-Nudin-doo Gnia Gumbie - Thow-ing-bah - Who throw my clothes away
  • Bund-u-lee Thulla - Hit with Stick
  • Bindi-you-Ninda - Thankyou
  • Gurra Guname Waba - Not that one
  • In-oon-Bulla - How are you
  • Youndah/Yunndu - You
  • Yannie/Thuninna - Go/Going/Gone
  • Gnia - Me/I/Mine
  • Wadda yubud/Yumgaling - Hello Mum/Dad
  • Yourie - Meat
  • Muntha - Any Food for Cooking
  • Gnulling - we/us
  • Unya Murrie Thapo - Where all the Murries
  • Touri - Everything about you
  • Thapo - at place
  • Nulla-bithy - Got Nothing
  • Gutha Gooya - Acting Silly
  • Yubal Bamanda - Larrakin

NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Norman (Ngitti) Johnson in providing this information.

Contact Details

Po Box 41
Walkerston QLD 4751
Phone: 0427 864 405

Wiri Traditional Owners approximate area of interest
Wiri Traditional Owners approximate area of interest

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