The Djerait were an indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory


The Djerait language was said to have been mutually intelligible with that of the Mulluk-Mulluk who spoke a Daly river language, being as distant as ancient Greek dialects were to each other. And it was also said to be interchangeable with that spoken by the Pongaponga.[1]


According to Norman Tindale, the Djerait occupied some 500 square miles (1,300 km2) of tribal land on the north shores of Anson Bay, extending north to Point Blaze.[2] Neighbouring tribes were the Mulluk-Mulluk, the Madngella the Pongaponga and the Wogait.[1]


The Jesuit missionary Donald Mackillop stated that the Djerait were a "small but intelligent tribe".[1]

Some words

  • yinnung delluk (bamboo nose stick)[3]
  • wennu. (conical helmet smeared with pipe clay and topped with a bone to which an emu plume is affixed)[4]
  • barang (dangerous night spirit, noseless and with blanks for facial eyes, with two organs on the back for seeing at great distances.'[5]

Alternative names

  • Tjerait
  • Cherait, Cherite[1]
  • Sherait[6]
  • Jeerite
  • Scherits
  • Tjiras[7]
  • Paperbark natives[6]



    1. Mackillop 1893, p. 254.
    2. Tindale 1974, p. 223.
    3. Basedow 1907, p. 9.
    4. Basedow 1907, p. 16.
    5. Basedow 1907, p. 18.
    6. Basedow 1907, p. 2.
    7. Tindale 1974, p. 224.


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