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 of the week is gulmari [pronounced gool-mah-ree] meaning ‘shield’. It is from the Guwinmal language of Central Queensland along the coastal section taking in the Styx River and Torilla.
Guwinmal is also known Koinbal, Koinjmal, Kuinmabara and is related to the Darumbal language of the Rockhampton region. The above image from Roth depicts the location of “Kooinmburra” as he referred to Guwinmal. The image below is also from Roth and depicts several shields used in the region – these were generally made from Corkwood. Figure 56 was collected from Torilla and can be attributed to Guwinmal.
Historical wordlists collected by W E Roth and Curr exist for Guwinmal; while more recent linguistic work in the region has been undertaken by Gavan Breen and Angela Terril. AUSTLANG indicates there are no fluent speakers and the language is considered endangered – it is currently undergoing community revival with support from the Central Queensland Language Centre.
Shields will be a central theme of the upcoming Spoken exhibition highlighting the protection of language and culture. Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Thirty-Seven 10-16 September 2019.
#slqIYIL #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
Jarjum stories: A kuril dhagun showcase focusing on children’s books and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Opens 19 October 2019.
Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages: A major exhibition exploring the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages throughout Queensland. Join in the many talks and events to celebrate the rich and diverse languages spoken today. Opens 21 November 2019.
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 items in the State Library collections.
Source: Roth, W. (1898) The Aborigines of the Rockhampton and surrounding coast districts. Microfilm. FILM 0714
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Guwinmal and neighbouring languages include the following:
Breen, G. (2009) “The Biri dialects and their neighbours”. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, V133, No.2. SER 506.942
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
Holmer, N. (1983) Linguistic Survey of South-Eastern Queensland. J 499.15 HOL
Roth, W. (1898) The Aborigines of the Rockhampton and surrounding coast districts. Microfilm. FILM 0714
Terrill, A. (1998) Biri. J 499.15 TER
Terrill, A. (2002) Dharumbal: the language of Rockhampton, Australia. Pacific Linguistics 525. J 499.15 TER
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)