As part of State Library’s commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a ‘word of the week’ from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
This week’s word is bonyi [pronounced bon-yee], from the Barunggam language of Dalby and the Bunya Mountains. This word refers to the tree (Araucaria bidwillii), the nut and the gathering held every three years in the Bunya Mountains!
Aboriginal groups from across Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales would travel to the Bunya Mountains and feast on the bunya nuts as well as share in celebrations.
There was also a bonyi festival on the Blackall Ranges in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The bunya nuts came into season between January and February on the coast; however, the colder climate in the Bunya Mountains meant the season was at it fullest during March. Each cone would hold 50-100 nuts and are best roasted.
In terms of language, there is only minimal linguistic work undertaken on Barunggam and neighbouring languages of the Bunya Mountains. Harriet Barlow whose family lived at Warkon Station via Roma documented wordlists across the Darling Downs from the 1860’s – the State Library collections has the Harriet Barlow Manuscript which forms the basis for her work “The Aboriginal Dialects of Queensland”; while recent work includes Holmer.
State Library of Queensland invites you to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages as we raise awareness of the rich diversity of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Ten 5-11 March 2019.
#IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
UN IY2019 Links
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages Resources
The word of the week has been sourced from the following historical item in the State Library collections.
Source: Harriet Barlow Manuscript, ca 1865 OM91-69
Bunya pines at Bunya Mountains, ca. 1935. Image Number APA-060-01-0034
Fruit from the Bunya Pine tree. Image number: 7868-0001-0015
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Barunggam and neighbouring languages include the following:
Barlow, H. (1873) The Aboriginal dialects of Queensland. Online version available via One Search.
Condamine Alliance (2013) Languages of the Condamine: Schools Activity Guide. P 499.9915 LAN
Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. RBF 572.994 cur
Harriet Barlow Manuscript, ca 1865 OM91-69
Holmer, N. (1983) Linguistic Survey of South-Eastern Queensland. J 499.15 HOL
Kerkhove, R. ( 2012) The Great Bunya Gathering: Early Accounts. P 392.0994 KER
Kite, S. and Wurm, S. (2004) The Duungidjawu language of southeast Queensland: grammar, texts and vocabulary: Pacific Linguistics 553. J 499.15 KIT
L R Schwennesen Papers M 292
Meston, A. (undated) Archibald Meston Papers 1860-1960. OM64-17