Dangu people

The Dangu are an indigenous Australian people of Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory. They are, according to Norman Tindale, to be carefully distinguished from the Djaŋu.[1][lower-alpha 1]


The extent of Dangu territory could not be established by Tindale, who located them in the general area of Yirrkala Mission, Cape Arnhem, Melville Bay, and Port Bradshaw.[1]

Social organization

Like all Yolgnu societies, the Dangu, identified as a grouping of clans (mala) sharing similar dialects, were organized according to the Dhuwa and Yirritja moieties. Their ethnonymic identity as a unified group was based on their common word for the demonstrative pronoun "this." They are divided into six clans according to which moiety they belong to, 4 Dua, and 6 Yirritja.[1] The Dua moiety:

  • 1. Galpu (Gälpu, Galbu, Kalpu).
  • 2. Golumala.
  • 3. Ngajimil. (Ngayimil, Ngeimil, Makkanaimulmi).
  • 4. Riratjingu. (Rirratjingu, Rirraljinga, Riraidjango, Wurrulul, Woralul, Urorlurl).[3]

The Jiritja moiety:

  • 5. Lamami. (Lamumiri).
  • 6. Wanguri. (Wangurri, Wonguri, Wan:guri).[3]

Alternative names


  1. 'The similarities in terminology alone would have been sufficient to confuse anyone not alerted to the difference between, for example, the interdental d of Dangu and Djangu.'[2]


  1. Tindale 1974, pp. 222–223.
  2. Tindale 1974, p. 141.
  3. Tindale 1974, p. 223.


  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Dangu (NT)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
  • Warner, William Lloyd (1937). A Black Civilization: A Social Study of an Australian Tribe. Harper & Brothers.
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