Jitajita

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The Jitajita, otherwise spelt Yitayita, are an indigenous Australian people of southern New South Wales.

Name[edit]

The tribal name Jitajita is a reduplicative endonym formed from their word for 'no' (jita).[1] Numerous tribes in the area defined themselves in terms of the negative used. Early ethnographers marveled at the variety of words for 'no' among the Riverine tribes, as an index of the differences in their languages. Peter Beveridge remarked:

Each tribes possesses a gnalla wattow or postman, who can speak and understand the dialects of all the tribes within a radius of 150 miles. The persons of these officials are held sacred, even by tribes which are at feud with their own: they therefore negotiate all matters of barter and trade policy.[a]

Country[edit]

The Jitajita lands covered some 4,800 sq. miles, north of the Lachlan River from near Booligal - to vicinity of Balranald, west to Carrawathal. They appear to have been closely related to the Muthi Muthi.[1] Their northwestern boundaries reached the edge of the Barindji domain.

Alternative names[edit]

  • Ita-ita, Ithi-ithi, Iti-iti.
  • Eethie-Eethie, Eethee Eethee, Eetha-eetha.
  • Yetho, Yit-tha, Yitsa,
  • Tjuop.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Beveridge was astounded by this linguistic agility and further asserted:'Singular to say, these Ngalla Wattows are, without exception, more or less imbecile or silly, still they perform their respective functions most admirably. In physical development these men are all small, very wiry and attenuated,-their constant travelling and short commons on their many tribal missions not being conducive to the making of flesh[2]

Citations[edit]

References[edit]

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