Sign Sites

Tarntanyangga

(formerly Tarndanyangga)

Tandanya (or Tarndanya) was the name recorded for "the site of South Adelaide" by Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840) and Iparrityi (formerly known as Ivaritji) gave Dharnda anya as a place name in the Adelaide area and referred to her people as the Dundagunya tribe who had "their central camp in or near Victoria Square" (Advertiser, 8 Dec. 1927). Tarntanyangga derives from tarnda 'red kangaroo' + kanya 'rock'. -ngga is a location ending 'in, at, on' frequently found in Kaurna place names. The Kaurna language has distinctive words for the male red kangaroo (tarnda), the female red kangaroo (kurlo), male grey kangaroo (nanto), female grey kangaroo wauwi (formerly known as wauwe) and these species all occurred within Kaurna country, if not within the Adelaide city environs itself. Tarnda, the male red kangaroo, plays a central role in Kaurna religion. The coat of arms of the Adelaide City Council, which dates back to 1929, features a red kangaroo.

Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga is still an important meeting place for Indigenous peoples from all over. It is the focus for many political and community-based Indigenous events, such as the Journey of Healing and it is the starting point for the annual NAIDOC march to Parliament House. The Aboriginal Flag, designed by Harold Thomas, was first flown here in 1971 and now flies permanently on one of the two big flag poles in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial T is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
rn is pronounced like and n with the tongue curled back or retroflexed;stress the first syllable.

Pirltawardli

(formerly Piltawodli)

Piltawodli, Park 1 - Kaurna Historical Site'possum place'

This name means possum place, from ‘pilta’ = possum, and ‘wodli’ = house or home.

This park was thus called because of the abundance of possums that once lived in the numerous red gum trees.

Pirltawardli was also the name given to a ‘native location’ established on the riverbanks in 1837. A plaque and artwork commemorate that site near the restaurant by the water.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial p is pronounced somewhat like a b (without aspiration);
lt in pilta and dl in wodli are pronounced with the tongue curled back making it sound as though a slight r sound is present;
stress the first syllables of both pilta 'possum' and wodli 'home'.

Pardipardinyilla

(formerly Padipadinyilla)

'swimming place'Padipadinyilla, Park 2 - Kaurna Historical Site

This park is so named because of the presence of the Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

Pardipardinyilla is a newly constructed word derived from padendi ‘to swim’. Padipadinya ‘swimming’ (the activity) is formed by analogy with padmipadminya ‘jumping’ (from padmendi ‘to jump’) and padnipadninya ‘running’ (from padnendi ‘to go; travel’). When the location suffix –illa is added the final vowel is dropped. Thus Pardipardinyilla means ‘swimming place’.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
stress the first syllable.

Kantarilla

(formerly Kandarilla)

'kandara root place'Kandarilla, Park 3 - Kaurna Historical Site

Teichelmann and Schürmann (1840) describe Kandara as a 'native vegetable resembling radish'. It is likely to be the yam daisy which would have been a regular food source for the Kaurna people. As a three syllable word, Kandara takes the -illa location suffix producing Kantarilla 'kandara root place'.

It is likely that ngampa (see Park 5), wailyo (see Park 21) and Kandara all refer to the yam daisy (Microseris scapigera) but perhaps refer to the tuber at different stages of maturity or to different parts of the plant.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
stress the first syllable.

Kangatilla

(formerly Kangatilla)

'Kangatta berry place'

Kangatilla is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

The kangatta is ‘a kind of berry eaten by the natives’ (Teichelmann & Schürmann, 1840). As a three syllable word, kangatta takes the –illa location suffix producing kangattilla ‘kangatta berry place’. (When –illa is added, the final vowel of kangatta is dropped, resulting in kangatilla.)

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
stress the first syllable.

Ngampa Yarta

(formerly Ngampa Yerta)

'ngampa root ground'

Ngampa is probably the yam daisy and likely to have been one of the major food sources on the Adelaide Plains.

Teichelmann and Schürmann (1840) give ngampa as 'a kind of native vegetable' and Teichelmann (1857) says it is "the last years root of the 'wailyo'" which he defines as "the leaves of the 'Kandarra'” while Teichelmann and Schürmann (1840:52) said waylo was 'a white native root resembling radish, eaten by the natives'. It is likely that ngampa, walyu (see Park 21) and Kandarilla (see Park 3) all refer to the yam daisy (Microseris scapigera) but perhaps refer to the tuber at different stages of maturity or to different parts of the plant.

Ngampa is also recorded in related languages:

Ngumpa 'yam' in Ngadjuri to the northeast (Berndt and Vogelsang, 1941: 10)

Ngumpa 'an edible species of root' in Parnkalla from Port Lincoln (Schürmann 1844: 44)

Pronunciation Tips:
the ng is pronounced as it is in sing but at the beginning of the word. Try saying singing and then drop the first syllable si- to perfect this sound;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
stress the first syllable.
yerta 'ground' is shared by neighbouring related languages such as Nukunu (Port Pirie) and Adnymathanha (Flinders Ranges) where it is written yarta and that is how it should be pronounced. The rt indicates a retroflex t with the tongue curled back, which sounds like there is a slight r sound present.

Nantu Wama

(formerly Nanto Womma)

'horse plain' or 'male grey kangaroo plain'

This park is named Nantu Wama (horse plain) because horses are paddocked on this area of the Park Lands. Nantu originally referred to the male grey kangaroo. Initially horses were called pinde nanto ‘European kangaroo’ (pinde ‘European’ came from pinde ‘pit; grave’ because Europeans were thought to be spirits returned from the grave). Horses quickly became simply nanto, as evidenced by sentences published by Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840) within the first years of colonisation such as:

Nanturla tutangga maiendi. ‘The two horses are grazing.’
Nanturlo ba kattendi. ‘The horse carries him.’

This triangular section of the North Parklands, south of Lot 460 was the area proposed in 1846 as an Aboriginal Reserve. The idea was to ‘clean up the city streets’ of Indigenous people by identifying the Adelaide people as well as parents of children at the School. This was to be done with a number, either on a metal tag or, if the people could be persuaded, with a tattoo. All Indigenous people found without a number were to be sent back to the country and those with a tag were expected to stay within the reserve. (Hemming & Harris, 1998: 54. Primary source: State records, GRG 24/6 /1846/342, CSO letters received, letter from Commissioner of Police, 23 March 1846).

It is also likely that this is the site where children from the nearby Walkerville Aboriginal School came to cut firewood. On 24th April 1845 Protector Moorhouse asked the Colonial Office for a cart “and a team of bullocks to be supplied for 2 or 3 days (to remove firewood from the Parkland in North Adelaide to Walkerville School). The wood has been cut down by the School Children but the distance is too great for them to carry it” (State Records, GRG 52/7/1 Protector of Aborigines Letter Book 1840-57 in Hemming & Harris, 1998: 54)

Pronunciation Tips:
the n is made with the tongue between the teeth;
a is pronounced is in father and data or like the u in but;
stress the first syllable on both nantu and womma.

Kuntingga

'kunti root place'

Kuntingga is formed from Kunti and the location suffix -ngga which is added to two syllable words.

Teichelmann and Schürmann (1840: 14) tell us that Kunti was 'a root of red colour and bitter taste, which the natives roast and eat'. The Kaurna word for mosquito, kuntipaitya seems to be a compound of Kunti + paitya 'vermin; reptile; monster; any dangerous or disliked animal' (Teichelmann and Schürmann, 1840: 35), probably because they are often engorged with blood.

It is likely that kunti is some native geranium species, possibly geranium solandri. This was a very common plant on the Adelaide Plains and known to have been eaten in other parts of Australia.

Pronunciation Tips:
pronounce the u as in 'put';
stress the first syllable.

Parngutilla

(formerly Barnguttilla)

'barngutta root place'

Parngutilla is formed from barngutta and the location suffix -illa which is added to three syllable words. The parngutilla root must have borne the closet resemblance to the European potato because several observers record this word for potato:

Parngutta or barngutta 'a native root; potato' (Teichelmann and Schürmann, 1840: 37)

Parangota 'potato' (Wyatt, 1879: 18)

Per-nu-tah 'potato' (Williams, 1840: 295)

However, it is uncertain what native tuber this is.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial a is pronounced as in father, the final a as in data;
rn is pronounced like an n with the tongue curled back or retroflexed;
pronounce the u as in 'put';
stress the first syllable.

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Tidlangga

'tidla root place'

Tidla was described as 'a bulbous root eaten by the natives' (Teichelmann and Schürmann, 1840: 46). It is likely that this plant is a species of leguminosae as Sanders (1907-9:69) records that the roots of a species of vetch called tidlars were eaten by the Echunga people (Clarke, 1988: 71). However, this is insufficient to positively identify this species. No edible indigenous legumes are known on the Adelaide Plains.

Being a two syllable word, tidla takes the -ngga location suffix resulting in tidlangga 'tidla root place'.

Pronunciation Tips:
stress the first syllable;
a is announced as in father and data or like the u in bu.

Warnpangga

'bullrush root place'

Warnpangga is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

This name derives from warnpa, the root of the bulrush, together with the location suffix –ngga, thus warnpangga translates as ‘bullrush root place’ and indeed bullrushes are prolific along the Torrens in this and other locations.

Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840: 53) describe warnpa as ‘a farinaceous root growing on the banks of rivers, the nutritious part of which the natives eat, and of the tough part make strings, nets etc. The Kaurna produced a variety of woven artifacts, including minde or minti ‘net for fishing and for catching game’, munta ‘large net for catching emus and other game’, ngarri ‘string or rope’, purno ‘net bag’, tarra ‘string, girdle’, tidlikuretti ‘a girdle worn around the waist’, waikurta ‘string; girdle’, wika ‘net; fishing net’, wikatye ‘net bag worn by men over the left shoulder’. It is likely that many of these were made from warnpa.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
rn is pronounced as an n with the tongue curled back making it sound as though a slight r sound is present;
stress the first syllable.

Tainmuntilla

(formerly Tainmundilla)

'mistletoe place'

Tainmuntilla is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

As a three-syllable word, tainmunda ‘mistletoe’ takes the –illa location suffix. When–illa is added the final vowel on tainmunda is dropped resulting in tainmundilla ‘mistletoe place’.

Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840: 42) define tainmunda as ‘a parasitical plant on the red gum tree’. River redgums were prolific in this area. The fruit of the mistletoe is edible (Clarke, 1985: 11). Tainmunda is spread from tree to tree by the mistletoe bird (a small bird with red breast, black wings and white underbelly. Unlike other birds, the mistletoe bird sits astride the branch depositing the mistletoe seed on the branch in its droppings).

Tainmunda or mistletoe is an important element in the environment supporting a range of creatures including a particular butterfly. It is an integral part of a healthy stand of redgums, only becoming a problem in a degraded and compromised ecology.

Tainmunda was also the name of a Kaurna child who attended the school at Piltawodli and signed the Kaurna letter penned by Ityamaii to Governor Gawler in 1841.

Edward Snell made many references to corroborees held near the Hackney Bridge (then called the SA Company’s Bridge). “There was a display of fireworks at the government house in the evening and the blacks has a corrobory at the Companies mill” (Register, 15 December 1926).

This was also a favoured camping spot as Snell indicates: “On the banks of the river near the Hackney Bridge is a stream flour mill, about a furlong north-west of which stands our residence, and on the bank of the river nearest us is a “black village” of 20 huts”. (T. Griffiths (ed.) The Life and Adventures of Edward Snell, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1988, 24 May 1850, p. 112) (in Hemming & Harris, 1998: 52-53)

Human remains (a skull and arm bone) were found by children in 1856 on the south bank of the Torrens opposite the Old Botanic Gardens. The remains were located about 3 feet below the surface when the river bank was eroded. (Best (1986: 66) cited in Hemming & Harris, 1998: 51)

Pronunciation Tips:
ai is pronounced like I or eye or as in aisle;
pronounce the u as in put;
stress the first syllable.

Karrawirra

'river red gum forest'

This literally means River Red Gum Forest.

The name derives from ‘Karra’ = Red Gum Tree, and ‘wirra’ = forest.

This area was the original name for the Torrens which flowed through the Karrawirra.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial k is pronounced somewhat like a g (without aspiration);
a is pronounced is in father and data or like the u in but;
the rr in both karra and wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
stress the first syllables of both karra 'redgum' and wirra 'forest'.

Rundle Park / Kadlitpina

(formerly Kadlitpinna)

'Captain Jack'

Kadlitpina, known to the colonists as ‘Captain Jack’ was a well-known Burka ‘Elder’ at the time when Adelaide was established. Kadlitpina was described as a ‘military genius’. Along with several other Kaurna men, he was appointed as an ‘honorary constable’, issued with a staff and uniform, and attended official meetings with the Governor, ‘Protector’ of Aborigines and the Chief of Police.

Kadlitpina was a great friend of many colonists and was immortalised through the paintings of George French Angas.

Certain Kaurna adult names were derived from the names of their children. The father’s name is formed by adding the suffix -itpinna to the name of the child. Thus Kadlitpina is the father of kadli ‘dingo; dog’. This means that Kadlitpinna must have had a child named Kadli.

Kadlitpina, known to the colonists as ‘Captain Jack’, was also known as Minno, indicating that the golden wattle was probably his totem. Kadlitpina was one of the main sources of information on Kaurna language and culture for missionaries Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840). He was also often referred to in W.A. Cawthorne’s diary. Cawthorne introduced Kadlitpina to George French Angas who produced the famous image of Kadlitpina the Kaurna warrior figure.

This area would have been swamp land leading into the Botanic Gardens, which were known to the Kaurna as kaingka wirra ‘gum scrub’. Iparrityi claimed that the lake in the Botanical Gardens was the principal waterhole for her father Ityamai-itpina, known to the colonists as ‘King Rodney’. This area would have been rich hunting grounds for the Kaurna providing a wealth of food and other resources.

Pronunciation Tips:
stress the first syllable;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but.

Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka

(formerly Mullawirraburka)

'King John’ or ‘Onkaparinga Jack’

Murlawirrapurka is formed from mulla ‘dry’ plus wirra ‘forest’ and burka ‘old man’. Mullawirra ‘dry forest’ was the name of the pangkarra ‘territory’ in the foothills in the Aldinga-Willunga area which Murlawirrapurka inherited from his father. In this case Murlawirrapurka derives his name from the territory he inherits.

This area has been identified as a meeting and camping place. Tommy Walker, a Ngarrindjeri man well known to Adelaidians in the latter part of the nineteenth century, was known to camp in this area. Margaret (Connie) Roberts reported that Aboriginal people were forced to move from this area to the Botanic Gardens and then to Glenelg.

Pronunciation Tips:
pronounce the u in both mulla and burka as in ‘put’;
the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
the r in burka is rolled like in Scottish. (Try not to pronounce the ur in this word as in ‘slur’. Both the u and the r are distinct sounds in their own right);
stress the first syllable in mulla and burka.

Ityamai-itpina

(formerly Ityamaiitpinna)

'King Rodney'

This park is named after Ityamai-itpina, known to the colonists as 'King Rodney'. He was one of three main Elders (Burka) with whom the colonists negotiated. Some Kaurna names, such as Ityamai-itpina, are derived from the names of their children. His daughter, Ityamaii from whom he derives his name, was a student in the school at Piltawodli run by the German missionaries Schürmann and Teichelmann and later Klose. The suffix -itpina means 'father of' and Kaurna men were said to change these kinds of names with the arrival of subsequent children. Historically many English family names are derived from the father (eg Robinson, Davidson, Johnson etc). In Kaurna it was the other way round.

When Schürmann commenced teaching the Kaurna language at Piltawodli in 1839, Ityamaiitpinna rapidly acquired literacy skills and was assisting Schürmann within two weeks of opening the school.

Pronunciation Tips:
ty is a single sound similar to English ch but with the tongue further forward;
ai is pronounced like I or eye or as in aisle;
it helps to break the word into its component parts itya-mai-itpinna (itya 'flesh' + mai 'vegetable food' + -itpinna 'father of'). Sat each part separately and then run them together;
it might help to break the word into syllables i-tya-mai-it-pi-nna to perfect the pronunciation;
stress the first syllable.

Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi

(formerly Bakkabakkandi)

'trotting' - Alternative: Wotpawotpandi ‘galloping’

This park is so named because of the presence of the racetrack.

Margaret (Connie) Roberts identified the northwest corner of this park as the place where native police camped to watch the activities of Aboriginal people in the East Park Lands.

Aboriginal people have attended race meetings at Victoria Park Racecourse from early times. The ‘Protector’ of Aborigines, in his 1854 Quarterly Report notes that:

"During the period, five families visited Adelaide to be present at the races in May, they remained five days and then returned to their districts."
The Poonindie Eleven, an all Aboriginal cricket team, played the SA Association team in 1872 at the Racecourse.

In 1980, senior Anangu people from the Pitjantjatjara-Yankunytjatjara Land in the northwest of SA camped here whilst in Adelaide whilst they were negotiating for their land rights.

Pronunciation Tips:
stress the first syllable;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but.

Tuthangga

(formerly Tuttangga)

'grass place'

Tuthangga is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

Tutta is the Kaurna word for ‘grass’, which was extended to include ‘hay’. As a two syllable word it takes the –ngga location suffix. So tuttangga simply means ‘grass place’. This park was so named because of the continuing presence of some original native grasses amongst the trees which have escaped the lawnmower over the years. There are a wide variety of indigenous grasses in this park including Wallaby Grass, Spear Grass, Wheat Grass and Windmill Grass.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
pronounce the u as in ‘put’;
the t sounds in this word are made with the tongue placed between the teeth;
stress the first syllable.

Wita Wirra

'peppermint grove/place'

Wita Wirra is taken from the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

Wita Wirra (peppermint tree grove) is derived from wita ‘peppermint tree’ + wirra ‘forest; bush’. The peppermint gum is now known as Eucalyptus microcarpa (formerly odorata). The original eucalypts were all cut out for firewood in years gone by.

Pronunciation Tips:
the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
stress the first syllable of each word.

Pityarrilla

(formerly Pityarrilla)

'marshmallow root place'

Pityarrilla is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

The marshmallow plant was known to the Kaurna people as ngunna and its roots, which they ate, as pityarra. Because it is a three syllable word, it takes the –illa suffix. When it is added, the final vowel of pityarra is dropped. So pityarrilla translates as ‘marshmallow root place’. It is likely that this plant is lavatera plebia. Its stem is very stringy and could be used to make twine or string.

Pronunciation Tips:
ty is a single sound similar to English ch but with the tongue further forward;
It might help to break the word into syllables pi-tya-rri-lla;
Stress the first syllable.

Kurangga

(formerly Kurrangga)

'blue gum place'

Kurangga is a newly constructed word in the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

The original source of this word is not clear. Coora ‘large blue gum’ appears in Stephens’ list (1889: 501), but Stephens has drawn heavily on Williams (1840) and respelt many words. In so doing he has introduced many errors. It could be that coora is in fact the same as Williams cur-ra ‘gum tree (large)’ which is undoubtedly the same as Teichelmann & Schürmann’s karra ‘red gum tree’. However, Wyatt has kooraka ‘white gum tree’ (Wyatt, 1879: 14) in addition to korra ‘red gum tree’. Stephens’ coora has been respelt as kurra to fit in with Teichelmann & Schürmann’s spelling conventions which are in current use. With the addition of the –ngga location suffix, kurrangga translates as ‘blue gum place’.

All original eucalypts were cut down for fire wood. However, blue gums have been planted in this and other parks.

Pronunciation Tips:
pronounce the u as in ‘put’;
the pronunciation of the r sound is unclear. It might be rolled as in Scottish, it might be a short tap or it might be a glide like in Australian English;
stress the first syllable.

Walyu Yarta

(formerly Walyo Yerta)

'waylo root ground'

Walyu Yarta is taken from the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

Walyu is probably the yam daisy and likely to have been one of the major food sources on the Adelaide Plains. Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840: 52) said walyu was ‘a white native root resembling radish, eaten by the natives’ while Teichelmann (1857) defines wailyo as “the leaves of the ‘kandarra’” whilst noting that ngampa is “the last years root of the ‘walyu’”. It is likely that ngampa (see Park 5), walyu and kandarra (see Park 3) all refer to the yam daisy (Microseris scapigera) but perhaps refer to the tuber at different stages of maturity or to different parts of the plant.

Yarta is the Kaurna word for ‘earth; land; soil; country’.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced is in father and data or like the u in but;
ly is a single sound similar to lli in English million;
yerta would have been better spelt yarta as it is in Adnyamathanha and should be pronounced that way with the tongue tip curled back when pronouncing the t (a retroflex stop);
stress the first syllable of each word.

Mirnu Wirra

(formerly Minno Wirra)

'golden wattle grove'

Mirnu Wirra is taken from the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, now being reclaimed by the Kaurna people.

The golden wattle is known as mirnu to the Kaurna people. Mirnu also refers to the gum or resin secreted by the golden wattle, which was a staple food for the Kaurna – “minno ‘the wattle tree; gum of the wattle tree, on which the natives principally live during the hot season’” (Teichelmann & Schürmann, 1840: 23). Wirra is the word for ‘forest’ or ‘bush’ or in this case ‘grove’, so mirnu wirra translates as ‘golden wattle grove’. This park is named Mirnu Wirra because a small stand of original golden wattles can still be found here.

Golden wattles were particularly widespread and were a major component in the Adelaide environment. The wattle seed was collected, winnowed in a yoko ‘coolamon’ and ground with a tawirti ‘grindstone’. Nutritious Johnny cakes were made with the flour. These were high in protein and carbohydrate, providing a well balanced diet.

Kadlitpinna, known to the colonists as ‘Captain Jack’, was also known as Minno, indicating that the golden wattle was probably his totem. Kadlitpinna was one of the main sources of information on Kaurna language and culture for missionaries Teichelmann & Schürmann (1840).

The south parklands was known as a camping site and the site of a battle between the Kaurna of Adelaide and the Ngarrindjeri from Goolwa. According to notes recorded by Norman Tindale from a Mr Chalk “During the well-known battle in the south parklands the Adelaide people used no shields or throwing sticks but just dodged and ducked to avoid their opponents missiles. The natives who came up from Goolwa carried woomeras” (in Hemming & Harris, 1998: 56). Ngarrindjeri people would camp here on their way to Pattawilya (Glenelg) (Veronica Brodie in Hemming & Harris, 1998: 56)

The wattle bark was exported in large quantities by the Europeans. William Cawthorne cites an early newspaper article titled ‘Gum Wattles and the Natives’ (Adelaide Observer, 9 December 1843) which notes “it is painful to see the beautiful plant stripped, pining, and dying in every settled district, while the native mother and her famishing babes look for their wanted ‘Zangary’ (gum) and seeds in vain”.

Pronunciation Tips:
the nn in minno is pronounced with the tongue tip curled back. This same word is spelt mirnu in neighbouring Nukunu with the r indicating this retroflexion;
the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
stress the first syllable of each word.

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Wikaparntu Wirra

(formerly Wikaparndo Wirra)

'netball park'

This park is so named because of the presence of the numerous netball courts. Wikaparntu is a newly constructed word derived from wika ‘net’ + parndu ‘ball’. The wika was woven with fibres made from warnpa ‘bullrush root’ and was used to net fish or wallabies and other small game while the parndo was made of possum skin and was used to play a kind of football. This traditional game of football may have had a strong formative influence on the development of Australian Rules football.

The meaning of wirra ‘wood; forest; bush’ has been extended to include ‘park’ in recent years.

The South Park Lands were used as a camping place by Aboriginal people in the early years of colonisation. Sometimes they would camp in this location on their way to Pattawilya (Glenelg). According to Joe Chalk, the South Parklands were also the site of “a well known battle” between the local Kaurna and the Ngarrindjeri people from Goolwa.

Pronunciation Tips:
pronounce the o as in ‘put’ and not like the o in so;
the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
stress the first syllable.

Wirrarninthi

(formerly Wirranendi)

'to become wirra'

This name means to ‘become transformed into a green, forested area’.

The name describes the activities taking place in this park, including the construction of a Kaurna food and medicinal trail, which explains the Kaurna people’s use of its plants.

The park has been revegetated with native vegetation and protected indigenous flora.

Pronunciation Tips:
the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
stress the first syllable.

Tampawardli

(formerly Tambawodli)

'plain place'

The Kaurna people identified and named this site ‘Tampawardli’, which means home on the plains. The name derives from ‘tamba’ = plain, and ‘wardli’ = house or home. It is the name recorded by the Kaurna people for Emigration Square, a temporary ramshackle collection of tents for new arrivals to Adelaide in the 1830’s and 1840’s.

Pronunciation Tips:
stress the first syllable.

Narnungga

'native pine place'

The native pine was known to the Kaurna people as narnu. Being a two-syllable word, it takes the -ngga location suffix. Thus Narnungga is place of the pine. This park is named Narnungga as the likely location of the native pine. Narnu were known to have been prolific in the Nailsworth area.

Pronunciation Tips:
pronounce the u as in 'put';
the initial n is made with the tongue placed between the teeth (an interdental nasal);
Stress the first syllable.

Tarntanya Wama

(formerly Tarndanya Womma)

'Adelaide plain/oval'

Tarntanya Wama is a direct translation of ‘Adelaide Oval’. Tarntanya (from tarnt ‘red kangaroo’ + anya ‘rock’) was the name for Adelaide. The meaning of wama ‘plain’ has been extended to ‘oval’.

Tarntanya Wama is believed to be an initiation site. Schürmann’s journal reveals that women in children remained out of sight in the bed of Karrawirra Parri (the Torrens River) during men’s initiation rites.

Pinky Flat is also located in this park. The origins of the name are unclear. Some suggest it was so named because it was a favourite haunt of drinkers - both Indigenous and non-indigenous - during the depression, whilst others suggest it was named after pingko ‘bilby’. The Australian National Dictionary lists pinky as meaning both ‘a cheap red wine’ and ‘the bilby’. Both suggested etymologies would appear to have merit.

According to Gladys Elphick, this area was a favoured camping area and would have been a rich hunting ground replete with possums, water fowl and other game.

Thomas Day (1902) remembered a tree burial in a large gum tree in this area which the police insisted be removed.

Indigenous people from the Lower Murray staged corroborees at Tarndanya Womma (Adelaide Oval). These events were huge turnouts drawing larger crowds than the cricket. Ever since the 19th century, numerous Indigenous people have played cricket and football for local teams, and for all-Indigenous teams at the Adelaide Oval.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial T is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
rn indicates that there is a retroflex n with the tongue curled back making it sound as though a slight r sound is present;
stress the first syllable.

Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli

(formerly Tulya Wodli)

'police barracks'

This park is so named because of the presence of the Police Barracks. Tulya Wardli is a direct translation. There are no s sounds in Aboriginal languages. When the Kaurna tried to say the word ‘soldier’ they substituted a t, made with the tongue between the teeth, for the s. Thus ‘soldier’ became tulya. This word was also used for police and has been retained in Aboriginal English till today.

Teichelmann (1857) records two sentence examples using tulya:

Kartammerurlo ngurlo, Kadlitpidlo ngurlo tulyanna karranono, 'that Kartammeru (probably referring to Murlawirrapurka or King John) & that Kadlitpina (Captain Jack) have instigated the Soldiers, or moved them to come etc.’

Murlawirrapurka and Kadlitpina were both appointed as honorary constables in 1837 and had a close relationship with the colonial authorities and the police.

Ngaityerli pudlondo, burro ngaii wortarra padneta, perkabbinama ngaii yailtyattoai tulyarlo. 'tell my father that I shall come after you, later, lest he think the police have shot me'

This sentence is indicative of the dangerous times in which Kaurna people lived in the 1840s and 1850s, when the assumption was that if someone did not arrive home at the expected time, it would be thought he had been shot.

The Tulya Wodli ‘police barracks’ were established on this site in 1917.

The Kaurna word wodli ‘house’ has given rise to the English word wurley.

Tulya Wodli - Bonython Park was perhaps the site first allocated to Walter Bromley as the site of the ‘Native Location’. The ‘Native Location’ was moved across the river to Pirltawardli in late 1837. Importantly the actual site was “chosen by the natives close to the river”.

There are reports of Aboriginal people working in the Slaughterhouse, which was located in this area, in the very early years when Adelaide was first established. In the 1880s, a ‘billabong’ near the Slaughterhouse, which would have been an important source of food, was filled with rubbish.

Numerous Aboriginal people were imprisoned in the Adelaide Goal, built by Governor Gawler in 1839. For instance, Missionary Klose, who lived across the river at Pirltawardli and made a practice of visiting Aboriginal prisoners on weekends, reported that on 12 September 1842 there were 12 Aboriginal prisoners in the gaol – 4 locals, 4 Murray, 2 Encounter Bay, 2 Port Lincoln. Klose was able to communicate with some of these prisoners, but others spoke very different languages to Kaurna with which he was familiar.

The Adelaide Gaol became the site of several hangings, known as tittappendi to the Kaurna. The bodies of the prisoners were buried in unmarked graves between the prison walls.

Pronunciation Tips:
the initial T is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth;
pronounce the u as in ‘put’;
ly is a single sound, pronounced in a similar way to the ll in million or bullion;
the dl in wodli is retroflexed with the tongue curled back making it sound as though a slight r sound is present;
stress the first syllable in both tulya and wodli.

Palmer Gardens / Pangki Pangki

'name of Kaurna tracker and guide'

The meaning of Pangki Pangki, if it does have a meaning, is not known. Pangki Pangki was a Kaurna tracker and guide.

In July 1841, Pangki Pangki accompanied Mathew Moorhouse, the ‘Protector’ of Aborigines to Lake Bonney and the Rufus River to meet Robinson’s overland party. This was the site of a well documented massacre in which some 30 Aborigines were shot dead, ten were wounded and four were taken prisoner. This massacre was carried out by a party commanded by Sub-Inspector Shaw on the western side of the Rufus and by Robinson’s party on the eastern side. Moorhouse, the ‘Protector’ of Aborigines was present and actually presided over this massacre, admitting that “the firing commenced before spears were thrown” (see Mattingley & Hampton p.38-40).

Pronunciation Tips:
p is not aspirated. It sounds a little like a b;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
i is pronounced as in bit;
stress the first syllable.

Brougham Gardens / Tantutitingga

(formerly Tandotittingga)

'native lilac place'

Tantutitingga ‘native lilac’ (Hardenbergia) is a native flower with a wide distribution. The name was recorded by William Wyatt. The name is applied to this park because of the proximity of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The tandotitte flowers on the shortest day of the year and is a sign of hope.

Tantutitingga means ‘native lilac place’.

Pronunciation Tips:

the initial T is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth;
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
i is pronounced as in bit;
stress the first syllable.

Torrens River / Karrawirra Pari

'redgum forest river'

This locality along the river was known as Karrawirra ‘redgum forest’ (karra ‘redgum’ + wirra ‘forest’) and the river was named after this locality, parri being the Kaurna word for ‘river’. The karrawirra was abundant with pilta, the ‘brushtail possum’ and kupe, a grub that lived in the redgum. The karra also afforded shelter and were deliberately hollowed out with fire.

Bullrushes were abundant along the banks of Karrawirra Pari, the root, known as warnpa was a favoured source of carbohydrate. Children fished for yabbies (ngaultaitya).

Karrawirra Pari was thought to be a reflection of the Milky Way, known as Wodliparri (lit. ‘house river’), so named because the bright stars on the edge were thought to be the campfires on the side of the river.

William Williams recorded the name of the Torrens River as Ton-darn-ya-par-rey (= Tarndanyaparri), the Adelaide River (Tarndanya being the name of the area of land where the city of Adelaide was built south of the river.

The Kaurna name Karrawirra Pari was officially recognised under the Dual Naming legislation in November 2001.

The length of Karrawirra Pari was occupied and utilised by the Kaurna people. It might be regarded as the heartland of Kaurna country.

Pronunciation Tips:
a is pronounced as in father and data or like the u in but;
i is pronounced as in bit;
the rr in karra and wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian. However the rr in parri is not rolled. It is pronounced as in Australian English curry;
stress the first syllable.

Main Lake Botanic Garden / Kainka Wirra

According to Ivaritji, reputed to be one of the last Kaurna language speakers, this was her father’s (King Rodney) principal waterhole.

Pronunciation Tips:
• the rr in wirra is a rolled r like that in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian;
• stress the first syllable.

Frome Park / Nellie Raminyemmerin

Council on 10 May 2010 named a restored area of Park Lands off Frome Road, around the University of SA’s Reid Building, as Frome Park / Nellie Raminyemmerin, using the following background information.

1. The suggested European name for the newly created park is Frome Park after Captain Edward Charles Frome who, in 1839, succeeded Colonel William Light as Surveyor General. Captain Frome arrived in Adelaide in September 1839 after being offered the post earlier that year. He was officially the third Surveyor General after a brief occupation of the post by Captain Charles Sturt who was removed from the position when Frome arrived.
2. The use of the name Frome also serves to geographically locate the park, given its location off Frome Road.
3. In accordance with current protocols, staff secured in 2008 a preferred name from the then Kaurna Heritage Board of Nellie Raminyemmerin (a Kaurna apical ancestor with historical significance to South Australia) as the Kaurna name for the park.
4. According to oral and written history, Nellie Raminyemmerin was a tribal sister of Ivaritji, and probably a daughter of Ityamaiitpinna (King Rodney), although there is some conjecture about this.  It is said that Nellie was kidnapped from Pinky Flat and taken to Kangaroo Island to live with a white sealer named Wilkins with whom she had seven children in the 1840s-1860s.
5. Government records indicate that Nellie was also known as Mary Monatto (almost certainly from Munato – a Kaurna birth-order name meaning third born female), who was the only Aboriginal woman on Kangaroo Island to be granted a lease of land (farmed by her common law husband).  This was consistent with SA Government policy at the time to encourage Aborigines to use European farming practices.
6. When Wilkins died in 1860, Mary Monatto and her children were left destitute.  The land grant was requisitioned and the family was moved to Yankalilla and then on to Point McLeay / Raukkan where they were placed in the care of Reverend George Taplin.
7. It is at Raukkan where Mary was probably given the name Nellie Raminyemmerin by Ramindjeri people, since no Kaurna words begin with ‘r’, and all end in a vowel.

Wellington Square / Kudnartu

Kudnartu was the name of a Kaurna ancestor from the Clare district.  As well as being a Kaurna apical ancestor, her marriage to Tom Adams was the first official Aboriginal/settler marriage in South Australia (at the Registry Office in Waymouth Street on 27 January 1848).  Kudnarto’s biography has been researched by O’Connor (1998).  Amery presents the following summarising about Kudnarto (Mary Ann Adams).

Kudnartu was from the Crystal Brook area in the north of Kaurna country.  She had been living with a shepherd, Tom Adams, for a year and a half before he applied to the Protector, Matthew Moorhouse for permission to marry in mid-1847.  They were finally in January 1848.  Kudnarto was about 16 years old at the time.  Before they did marry, however, Kudnarto attended the ‘Native Establishment School’ in Kintore Avenue for ‘initiation into the arts of domestic life and household duties’. In fact, she taught her illiterate husband to write.  Kudnarto and Tom Adams had two sons, Tom and Tim Adams born in 1849 and 1852.  Unfortunately, Kudnarto died young in 1865.  She would have been only about 23.  Following Kudnarto’s death, Tom Adams and his two sons were left destitute as land allocated to Kudnarto was resumed by the government.  Tom was forced to leave his two children at Poonindie.  Many Kaurna people alive today trace their ancestry to Kudnarto (Amery 1997 c.3).

Pronunciation Tips:
• Stress the first syllable (ku).
• Pronounce the u and final o (u) as in ‘put’
• Pronounce the a sound as in Maori ‘haka’
• The rt is a single sound, a t made with the tongue tip curled back (retroflex). A t-sound produced in this way sounds as though there is a slight r-sound before it.

Hindmarsh Square / Mukata

This Square has been co-named to commemorate one of the four wives of Mullawirrabirka – Mogata or Mukata, also known as ‘Pretty Mary’.  This provides an opportunity to display biographic information and illustrations or 3D artwork, based on Theresa Walker was sculpture made in 1840, and the subsequent George French Angas portrait of 1843.  Two of Mullawirrabirka’s wives (unidentified) are depticted in the Cawthorn sketch of part of his funeral rites at Piltawodli.  Heather Agius said that her mother told her that this was an important meeting place for the Elders.


Pronunciation Tips:
• Stress the first syllable (mu). Secondary stress on the last syllable (ta).
• Pronounce the o (u) as in ‘put’
• Pronounce the a sounds as in Maori ‘haka’

Hurtle Square / Tangkaira

This Square was dual named to commemorate the wide of Ityamaiitpinna, Tangkaira or ‘Charlotte, from the Clare District (Gara 1990; Amery 1991).  Hemming and Harris record it as an Aboriginal meeting place, and were told by then Kaurna Hertiage Board representatives that some Aboriginal people camped here up until the 1970s.  There were people from all over, not just Kaurna.

Hurtle Square was also referred to as Memory Square by Kaurna.  Anja Iacuone said she lived in a boarding house in the north western corner of the park when she was 14 and felt completely safe because Aboriginal people were numerous in the area, and they looked out for each other.  Marge said that Carrington Street was all cobble stones, and King William Street was a brick road.

Pronunciation Tips:
• Stress the first syllable (ta).
• Pronounce the a sound as in Maori ‘haka’
• The r-sound was probably a short tap or flapped r (like the tt sound in ‘butter’ when said quickly)
• The initial t is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth.

Light Square / Wauwi

‘female kangaroo’

This Square has been co-named to commemorate Kadlipinna’s wife – the name Wauwi means female kangaroo.  Light Square has been an important meeting place for Aboriginal people since the establishment of the city.  It is the closest square to gathering places along the river near Morphett Street Bridge, Pinky Flat, the rail yards, and Torrens Weir.  Many Aboriginal people lived around the ‘west end’ area near the Square from the 1930’s onwards.  People from surrounding houses used to gather every night to socialise.  Numerous Aboriginal people lived in Trenery Street, near Flagstaff Hotel.  The hotel would not sell alcohol to Aboriginals without an exemption card.

Anja Iacuone spoke of Paster Zinnbaur, a Lutheran Minister who was heavily involved with the Kaurna community. His wife was named Helga Zinnbaur introduced Anja’s Finnish father to her mother because they came out on the same ship to Australia.

Joe Mitchell recalled buying illicit booze at a place called Down Under just off Light Square. Anja stated that the City Mission near Light Square had a Sunday School where lots of Kaurna children went.  She also recalled a big boarding house on the corner of West Terrace and Hindley Street where Aboriginal people lived for 60-70 years.

Heather Agius stated that the Wilson, Buckskin, Newchurches, Agius, Sumner and Wanganeen families all lived in the Waymouth Street area and attended Sturt Street School.  She said that whenever there was trouble between the Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri, fights would take place at the old railway carriages near the end of Hindley Street.

Marge Angie Beare told that right up until she was 20, people congregated at Light Square every night to meet because people did not have any backyards.  She said that Granny Susie, Aunty Gertrude Goldsmith, Aunty Flora, and Aunty Laura and Aunty Agius all lived in the vicinity of Waymouth Street.

Pronunciation Tips:
• Stress the first syllable (wau).
• Pronounce the au as in ‘cow’
• Pronounce the final e (i) as in ‘ski’

Whitmore Square / Iparrityi

Whitmore Square has been co-named to commemorate famous Kaurna ancestor Iparrityi.

Iparrityi (also known as Everety, Ivarity and Amelia) means ‘a gentle, misty rain’ in the Kaurna language.  Iparrityi was born in the 1840’s in Port Adelaide, and ‘lived her early life in the fringe camps around Adelaide and the ration depots in the hills and then found her way to Point McLeay and then Point Pearce.  Late in life, after her marriage in 1920, she left Point Pearce and was able to leave a relatively independent life among the white community in Moonta, supplementing her husband’s pension and her own rations with what she could earn from her handicrafts’ (Gara 1990).  She is often referred to as ‘the last woman of the Adelaide Tribe’, and has been referred to by some Kaurna people as a legendary figure, ‘one spoken of in relevant tones.’  Many of the older white residents of Moonta remember ‘Princess Amelia’ with genuine affection; the little old woman, with dark skin, snowy white hair and a happy laugh, clearly created a lasting impression on the children and teenagers in the town during the 1920s (Gara 1990). Ivaritji eventually died on Christmas day in 1929 (Amery 1997).

There are several known photographs of Iparrityi, including the famous 1928 photograph of her in a fur skin cloak.

Hemming & Harris (1998) note that Whitmore Square was also a meeting place for Aboriginal people.  Many Aboriginal people lived around the ‘west end’ area near the Square from the 1930s onwards.  Many attended nearby Sturt Street School, or have associations with St Luke’s Church on the edge of the Square.  Anja Iacuone said that she lived in nearby Logan Street until she was 11 and used to play in Whitmore Square at night (1994-1954).  At Logan Street lived with Uncle Tim and Aunty Marlene.  This Square is still a gathering place for Aboriginal people.

Pronunciation Tips:
• Stress the first syllable (i). Secondary stress on the third syllable (rri).
• Pronounce the i as in ‘bit’
• Pronounce the a sound as in Maori ‘haka’
• The r (rr) sound is rolled as in Scottish, Indonesian or Italian.
• The tj (ty) is a single sound similar to the ‘ch’ in ‘church’, though the tongue is further forward and behind the bottom teeth.

Lightning Bridge / Karntu Waadlakatha

A new bridge built across the River Torrens at the northern end of  Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli (Park 27).

Red Gum Forest Bridge / Kainkawirra Waadlakatha

A new footbridge built that connects northern Adelaide with the Adelaide Zoo and Botanic Gardens.

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