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Mungo and the Willandra Lakes

The Two Traditional Tribal Groups

The Willandra Lakes lie at the junction of several different tribal countries, and the World Heritage Area and Mungo National Park are jointly managed by the three Traditional Tribal Groups, the Paakantyi and Ngiyampaa.


The Paakantyi (also spelled Barkindji) are the people of the Darling River. They take their name from the river, the Paaka, so they are the Paaka-ntyi, the people of the river. Some Paakantyi people lived away from the river, including the Parrintyi in the Willandra country east of the Darling River. Today Paakantyi people live in Wilcannia, Menindee, Pooncarie and Wentworth on the lower Darling River, and in Dareton, Buronga and Mildura on the Murray.


Ngiyampaa country lies between the Lachlan and Darling Rivers, along the upper Willandra Creek. Important places in Ngiyampaa recent history are Trida, Keewong, Carowra Tank, and Ivanhoe, where many Ngiyampaa people still live.

Historically another tribal group, the Yita Yita, also lived in the area. Their country ran from the Lachlan west to the Willandra Lakes. No-one today identifies primarily as Yita Yita, but many people have Yita Yita ancestry.

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