Watta people

The Watta were an indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory.


In Norman Tindale 's estimation the Watta held about 3,500 square miles (9,100 km2) of territory, inland around the eastern bank of the South Alligator River, as far east to the headwaters of the East Alligator River.[1]

Social organization and practices

The Watta are notable for the fact that they constitute the most southeastern tribe which refrained from the rites of circumcision in the Northern territory.[1]

Alternative names


  1. "These are all comparatively large communities, but the mountain range beyond is in possession of a people which appears to be more numerous than all the others put together, and which goes by the general name of 'Marigianbirik,' or people of the mountains. This tribe occupies a great extent of the uplands."[3]


  1. Tindale 1974, p. 237.
  2. Elkin, Berndt & Berndt 1951, p. 255.
  3. Earl 1846, p. 242.


  • Earl, G. Windsor (1846). "On the Aboriginal Tribes of the Northern Coast of Australia". The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 16: 239–251. JSTOR 1798232.
  • Elkin, A. P.; Berndt, R. M.; Berndt, C. H. (June 1951). "Social Organization of Arnhem Land". Oceania. Sydney. 21 (4): 253–301. JSTOR 40328302.
  • Spencer, Baldwin (1914). Native tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia (PDF). London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Tindale, Norman Barnett (1974). "Watta (NT)". Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-708-10741-6.
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