The Alyawarre, also known as the Iliaura, are an Aboriginal Australian people, or language group, from the Northern Territory.


Norman Tindale's estimate in 1974 assigned to the Alyawarre traditional tribal lands extending over some 17,800 square miles (46,000 km2), taking in the Sandover and Bundey rivers, as well as Ooratippra, and Fraser creeks. Notable sites associated with their nomadic world include Mount Swan, northern flank of Harts Range, Plenty River north and west of Ilbala, Jervois Range, Mount Playford and the Elkedra River. They were also present at MacDonald Downs and Huckitta.[1]

The Utopia community, 250 km north east of Alice Springs, and set up in 1927, is partly on Alyawarre land, partly on land of the Anmatyerre.[2]


The Alyawarre people speak a dialect of Upper Arrernte known as Alyawarre.

Social organization

The Alyawarre had a four section marriage system.

  • Pitjara
  • Kngwarija
  • Kimara
  • Pula[3]


C. L. Yallop estimated the Alyawarre community to number 500-600 people in 1969. They were mainly concentrated at Lake Nash, the Georgina River, McDonald Downs, on the Bundey River, and the Warrabri Reserve.[4]

Native title

In 1980 the Alyawarre made a land claim together with the Wakaya. As a result, they were handed back 2,065 square kilometres (797 sq mi) on 22 October 1992.[5]

Alyawarre of note

Alternative spellings

  • Iliaura, Illiaura, Iljaura, Ilyaura
  • Ilyowra Illyowra
  • Illura
  • Aliawara, Alyawara, Alyawarra
  • Ilawara
  • Jaljuwara
  • Yalyuwara
  • Alyawarr, Aljawarra[1]

Some words

  • agira. (kangaroo)
  • aringka. (dog, dingo)
  • aranga (emu)
  • irampa. (honey-ant).[6]



    1. Tindale 1974, p. 226.
    2. Allan 1999.
    3. Yallop 1969, p. 193.
    4. Yallop 1969, p. 187.
    5. CLC 1992.
    6. Yallop 1969, pp. 195–197.


    • Allan, Susan (7 May 1999). "The Art of the "Dreaming": Review: Emily Kame Kngwarreye retrospective". World Socialist Website.
    • Denham, Woodrow W. (June 1974). "Infant Transport among the Alyawara Tribe, Central Australia". Oceania. 44 (4): 253–277. JSTOR 40330147.
    • Denham, Woodrow W. (May 2014). "Residential Group Compositions among the Alyawarra". Mathematical Anthropology and Cultural Theory: An International Journal. 6 (1): 1–132.
    • Eylmann, Erhard (1908). Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Südaustralien (PDF). Berlin: D.Reimer.
    • "From the days of whips and guns now we have our land back". Central Land Council. October 1992.
    • Spencer, Sir Baldwin; Gillen, Francis J. (1899). Native tribes of Central Australia (PDF). Macmillan Publishers.
    • Strehlow, Carl (1910). Die Aranda- und Loritja-stämme in Zentral-Australien (PDF) (in German). Volume 3. Frankfurt am Main: Städtisches Völker-Museum.
    • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Iliaura (NT)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
    • Yallop, C. L. (1969). "The Aljawara and Their Territory". Oceania. 39 (3): 187–197. JSTOR 40329775.
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