Djangadi

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The Djangadi were an indigenous Australian people resident in the Macleay Valley of northern New South Wales.

Language[edit]

Dhanggati or Djangadi is usually grouped with the Anēwan language.[1]

Country[edit]

Djangadi lands extended over some 3,500 sq. miles, with its northern boundary around Point Lookout, stretching southwards to the MacLeay River headwaters and about Mount Royal Range. Its western frontier lay around Walcha, while the eastern boundary was formed by the ranges close to the coast.[2]

People[edit]

The tribes in the Macleay/Manning area before white contact were estimated to number some 4,000.[3] Their coastal neighbours viewed them with diffidence, calling them jang (bad folk).[2]

History[edit]

White intrusion on the Djangadi lands first took off as mostly ex-convict cedar cutters began exploring the rich resources of the area of the Macleay Valley in the late 1820s. Within a decade, they had virtually harvested every stand of this highly prized red gold timber in clearances that made the land increasingly attractive to pastoralists,[4] who by 1847, after the Crown Lands Occupation Act of 1836 permitted squatting, had established 31 stations along the Macleay river from Kempsey inland to Kunderang Brook.[5] This coincided with one of the most violent and sustained examples of warfare in the Macleay gorges, during which it is estimated that upwards of 15 massacres of Aborigines took place in the region.[6] The Djangadi and other tribes affected adopted guerilla tactics to fight the usurpation of their land, by attacking shepherds, hit-and-run raids on homesteads and duffing sheep and cattle livestock before retreating into the gorges where pursuit was difficult. Some 2 to 3 dozen aborigines were killed for rustling sheep at a massacre which took place at Kunderang Brook in 1840.The war ended with the establishment of a force of native police at Nulla Nulla in 1851 by which time the attrition had devastated tribal numbers. Of the 4,000 aborigines in the area before the settlements, one third are thought to have been killed in a little over 2 decades.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grimes 2003, p. 472.
  2. ^ a b Tindale 1974.
  3. ^ Harrison 2004, p. 106.
  4. ^ Harrison 2004, p. 64.
  5. ^ Harrison 2004, p. 66.
  6. ^ Harrison 2004, p. 104.
  7. ^ Harrison 2004, pp. 104–106.

References[edit]