Kunwinjku people have a number of generic terms for finches, but they may
also have other names for instance describing their colour. Some ducks that
are regularly hunted have up to half a dozen names describing sex, age,
condition. However Magpie-goose only has one name as far as I can discover.
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
1/7 Songlark Street
BAKEWELL NT 0832
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
Entrant in Women Entrepreneurs: 18 Inspiring Stories of Small Business
A publication by the Australian Government¹s Office for Women and Small
On 27/7/07 6:14 PM, "Michael Todd" <> wrote:
> I haven't been following this debate very closely I have to admit but I
> wouldn't assume that all bird have an indigenous name.
> I remember that when I was working on finches (Star and Crimson) at the
> Pormpuraaw community on Cape York Peninsula (on the Gulf) I was
> interested in the names given to the birds. I know finches were all
> given one name Minh something or other. It seemed to denote their lack
> of importance to people! On the other hand there were multiple names for
> things of economic (food or resource related) importance to denote
> different sexes, ages etc.
> Now it could be that all the bird species had different names and many
> of them have since been forgotten but I think I lean towards their just
> having a different way of looking at species to the way English-speaking
> European- origin man does. When you are living off the land it makes
> sense to have the most descriptive names relating to species that you
> need to know intimately such as Magpie Goose, ducks etc. LBJ's (little
> brown jobs) like thornbills and gerygones would be pretty low down the
> scale of importance to survival I reckon.
> Plains-wanderer.... well, I can't imagine it being regarded as
> significant. If there is a known indigenous name well and good.
> Michael Todd
> Wildlifing: Images of Nature: www.wildlifing.com
> PhD Candidate- Tasmanian Masked Owl
> School of Zoology, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 05, Hobart, Tasmania
> Mobile: o41o 123715
> Alan Gillanders wrote:
>> By, "Perhaps a species that fits in a class of its own, such as the
>> Plains Wanderer might be a suitable candidate for having an indigenous
>> name," do mean one that the rest of us use? Very few birds would not
>> have an indigenous name.
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