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The Gidabal, also known as Kitabal and Githabul, are an indigenous Australian tribe of southern Queensland,[1] who inhabited an area in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, now within the Southern Downs, Tenterfield and Kyogle Local Government regions.


The Githabul call their language Githabul - it is variety of the Condamine-Upper Clarence language, a dialect cluster of the wider Bundjalungic branch of Pama–Nyungan language family,[2] though the Githabul dislike calling their language Bundjalung as a descriptor of their speech.[3]


According to Norman Tindale, the Githabul ranged over some 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2) of territory which lay around the headwaters of the Clarence, Richmond, and Logan rivers on the Great Dividing Range. he adds that it extended from Killarney to Urbenville, Woodenbong, Unumgar (Nganamgah[4]), and Tooloom. at Rathdowney and about Spicer Gap. Tindale placed its southern reaches near the vicinity of Tabulam and Drake.[5]

Social organization[edit]

R. H. Mathews visited with the Githabul in 1898 and picked up the following information concerning their social divisions, which were fourfold.[6]

Cycle Mother Father Son Daughter
Karrpiyan[a] Barrangan Dyerwain Bandyoor Bandyooran
Bandyooran Bunda Barrang Barrangan
Tiyatyi[b] Dyerwaingan Barrang Bunda Bundagan
Bundagan Bandyoor Dyerwain Dyerwaingan

History of contact[edit]

Native title[edit]

In September 1995 Githabul legal scholar Trevor Close, on behalf of his people, lodged a native title claim for 140,600 hectares in the Kyogle, Woodenbong and Tenterfield areas in northeast New South Wales and in Queensland, south of Rathdowney. Justice Catherine Branson of the Federal Court of Australia, on 29 November 2007, made a consent determination recognising their non-exclusive native title rights and interests over 1,120 square kilometres (430 sq mi) in nine national parks and 13 state forests in northern New South Wales.[7]

Alternative names[edit]

  • Kidabal, Kidjabal, Kit(t)a-bool, Kittabool, Kitabool, Kitapul
  • Gidabul, Gidjoobal
  • Kuttibul
  • Noowidal[5]


  1. ^ updating Matrhews' Karpeun.
  2. ^ Updating Mathews' Deeadyee.


  1. ^ Tindale 1974, p. 168.
  2. ^ Crowley 1978, pp. 142–171.
  3. ^ Sharpe 2005, p. 1.
  4. ^ Sharpe 1985, p. 104.
  5. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 195.
  6. ^ Mathews 1907, p. 83.
  7. ^ Branson 2007.