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The Aboriginal Nation Darug

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Naming conventions

The Gandangara speaking tribes (which by implication include the Darug: see below) had patrilineal descent. Women married out of the group into which they had been born (Mathews and Everitt 1900:264). Here, while the females of the same totem were dispersed by marriage, the males of the same totem, would have co-resided: there was patrilineal descent and virilocal residence. Gandangara/Darug people adhered to the characteristics of a kin group as a culturally prescribed ideal (Peterson 1986:17)[1]

This suggests that prior to disruption by colonisation, men would remain as part of their clan, while women would join the clan of their partner. Morever, women would be referred to with the suffix -gul; while men would use the suffix -gal (see below)

Clan words

The following was adapted from a description of clan words and names was published by Richard Green;

It has been stated on numerous occasions by Darug elder people that the names of the people can be heard as ending in Gul for the men of the clan, or Gal for the women of the clan. The same rhetoric is now occurring written amongst every new edition concerning the Sydney Basin History.

"It should be noted that the Federal Government have used the language of the Darug yura to describe every prison in Sydney after the people of the Sydney Basin: Names such as Panang, Darug boy's home, Parramatta, Mullawa prisons were first used to detain Sydney's original populations. Gunya Dwelling or Gunyah are inscribed on numerous residents homes and street signs throughout the greater Western Sydney, all this language can be researched and referred to adding weight to the language of the Darug yura"

Senior Darug elder Guwan Kenneth WEBB Boorooberongal

Most clan names begin with the first name of the man who named the clan and territory boundaries and the songlines of the particular country.

Boundaries are of a German concept of tribalism, but original Indigenous of the Darug/Iyura never followed such ideals pre-dating the invasion of 1788, the Darug clans of the Sydney were accepting of numerous cultures throughout the song-lines of our iyura. Numerous clansman visited the Baramadagal Yulang learning and discovering the truth of what took place amongst country and the 38 clans of the Darug nations.

For example:

  • Bidjia may have been the name of the elder, so when relating to his wife and family he may have named his clan Bidjiagal,
  • Boorooberon became Boorooberongal. Boorooberongul refers to the people from where the Red Kangaroo belongs.
  • Wallumedea becomes Wallumedeagal. The name Wallumedeagal also refers to wet lands and high rain fall. Wallum was a man who could summon rain. His other names are Bunna-bunna.
  • Gadi become the recorded member of the Gadigal etc.
  • Gumberri Goomberry Nura is a clan of the Darug-gul from Burramattagal, referring to where the eels lay)
  • Gubragal refers to the Gobragal Clan of the Darug who were from the Liverpool area.

Iyura, Yura, Eora, Eeoora can be Interpreted as people of a certain area.

Other examples of terms still used by the original Yura of the Sydney Darug Basin include:

  • babana,
  • bulunga,
  • wungarra,
  • gilygan,
  • burulyung,
  • dyin.
  • Walla,
  • wallum,
  • bunna-bunna.
  • gili,
  • nanga-nanga-mai,
  • nanga-mi
  • naa-la,
  • guwi-la,
  • yan,
  • yan-la,
  • yannadah,
  • yerung


  • Warami, wellamabami - It's good to see you, wherever you come from.
  • Nura: Country.
  • Badu: Water.
  • Bada: Food.
  • Walan, Bunnabunna: Rain
  • Moon Yannadah.
  • Birrung: Stars,
  • Duwiga: Falling Star.
  • Guyun: Sun,
  • Mural, Butu, Yarragal: red, black, yellow

Names of totems

  • Mulgo, Mulgoa - Black Swan,
  • Yurangai - Black Duck,
  • Wirambi - Flying fox,
  • Wuban-Burumin - Possum.
  • Wuban-marli - another name for the Possum
  • Mariyong - Mariyung - the word for female emu is also related to Maugrai, the male emu which are both interelated through moiety and traditional rites.
  • The word for possum which begins with G........ has been uploaded and referenced by non-indigenous academics refusing to listen, that some of our words are sacred and best left for song and ceremony.

Names of family

  • Gumang - Grandfather
  • Guwan - Uncle
  • Biyanga - Father
  • Babana - Young Son
  • Dyinguranang - Grandmother
  • Wiyanga - Mother
  • Durumin - Sister
  • Mudyin - Relatives
  • Wungarra - Boy
  • Gilygan - Girl


  1. McDonald, Jo (2008) Social Context, in Dreamtime Superhighway: Sydney Basin Rock Art and Prehistoric Information Exchange. Australian National University Press: Canberra

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Categories: Darug