The Anmatyerre (or Anmatjera [1], also Anmatyerr, Anmatjirra, or Amatjere) are an Aboriginal Australian people of the Northern Territory, who speak one of the Upper Arrernte languages.


The Anmatyerre are said to speak dialects of Upper Arrernte, broken into the phonetically distinct Eastern Anmatyerr and Western Anmatyerr.[2]


In 1974 the traditional lands of the Anmatyerre people in N.B. Tindale's Aboriginal Tribes of Australia were described as covering an area of 11,200 square miles (29,000 km2). He specifies its central features as encompassing the Forster Range, Mount Leichhardt (Arnka), [3] Coniston, Stuart Bluff Range to the east of West Bluff; the Hann and Reynolds Ranges (Arwerlt Atwaty); the Burt Plain north of Rembrandt Rocks and Connor Well. Their eastern frontier went as far as Woodgreen. To the northeast, their borders lay around central Mount Stuart (Amakweng) and Harper Springs.[1]


Anmatyerre communities located within the region include Nturiya (Old Ti Tree Station), Ti-Tree Pmara Jutunta (6 Mile), Willowra, Laramba (Napperby Station) and Alyuen. What is today known as the Anmatyerre region has significant overlap with Warlpiri, Arrernte and Alyawarr language communities. Many people come from two or three different language groups. The Utopia community, 250km north east of Alice Springs, and set up in 1927, is partly on Alyawarre land, partly on land of the Anmatyerre.

As a specialist in Arandic culture and language T. G. H Strehlow also worked with Anmatyerr people throughout his career, recording much of their ceremonial traditions.

Alternative names

  • Nmatjera
  • Unmatjera (mainly an Aranda exonym)
  • Imatjera
  • Anmatjara
  • Urmitchee
  • Janmadjara/Janmadjari (Warlpiri exonym)
  • Janmatjiri. (Pintupi exonym)
  • Yanmedjara, Yanmadjari.[4][1]

Notable Anmatyerre



    1. Tindale 1974, p. 220.
    2. Breen 2001, pp. 45–69.
    3. Mount Leichhardt
    4. Meggitt 1961, p. 143.


    • Breen, Gavan (2001). "Chapter 4: The wonders of Arandic phonology". In Simpson, Jane; Nash, David; Laughren, Mary; Austin, Peter; Alpher, Barry (eds.). Forty years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages (pdf). Pacific Linguistics 512. ANU. Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. (Pacific Linguistics). pp. 45–69. ISBN 085883524X.
    • Meggitt, M. J. (September 1955). "Notes on the Malngjin and Gurindgi aborigines of Limbunya, Northern Territory". Mankind. 5 (2): 45–50. doi:10.1111/j.1835-9310.1955.tb01418.x.
    • Meggitt, M. J. (August 1961). "The Bindibu and Others". Man. 61: 143. JSTOR 2796739.
    • Radcliffe-Brown, Alfred (1911). "Marriage and descent in North Australia". Science of Man. Sydney. 13-14 (3–4): 63–64, 81–82.
    • Spencer, Sir Baldwin; Gillen, Francis J. (1904). Northern Tribes of Central Australia (PDF). Macmillan Publishers.
    • Strehlow, T. G. H. (1947). Aranda traditions. Melbourne University Press.
    • Strehlow, T. G. H. (1965). "Culture, social structure, and environment". In Berndt, R. M.; Berndt, C. H. (eds.). Aboriginal Man in Australia. Angus & Robertson. pp. 121–145.
    • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Anmatjera (NT)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
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