Skip to Main Content

Aboriginal people of South Australia: Adnyamathanha

South Australian Aboriginal people and languages

Adnyamathanha language materials

Audio-visual material

Adnyamathanha yarta nakuntha [videorecording] : to look at the Adnyamathanha land, 1992.

Cook, Grayson Unsettled, 2017. Content related to this exhibition, including interviews with Adnyamathanha at Nepabunna. 

Flinders Ranges Aboriginal songs, 1939.

McKenzie, Buck. Songs for Aboriginal studies and reconciliation, 2009. 

The Lives of Jim Page and Rebecca Forbes in the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal Community, Interviewer: Tracy Spencer, 2001-2002.

Yulu's coal. Radio documentary about the journey of one of the major Adnyamathanha Creation Ancestors, Yulu the Kingfisher Man. 
Part 1
Part 2 
Yulu's coal. book by Terrence Coulthard, Cliff Coulthard and Buck Mckenzie. 

"The Adnyamathanha people are from the greater Flinders Ranges area. The name Adnyamathanha means ‘Rock People’. According to one account, this relates to the striking and unique rock formations in and around Vulkathunha – the Flinders and Gammon ranges. Today, there are different dialect or language groups within Adnyamathanha, with people identifying as Kuyani-Adnyamathanha, Wailpi-Adnyamathanha, Yadliawarda-Adnyamathanha, Pirlatpa-Adnyamathanha, or simply Adnyamathanha. Adnyamathanha people live in places like Nepabunna, Ikara (Wilpena Pound) and Leigh Creek, as well as in towns and cities throughout South Australia including Port Augusta and Adelaide." Source:  Mobile Language Team website.

This guide to sources relating to the Adnyamathanha people was last updated in 2021. It comprises selected material held by the State Library or available online.
To find further material relevant to this topic, try searching with these subject headings in the State Library catalogue:
  • Adnyamathanha (Australian people)
  • Aboriginal Australians - South Australia - Flinders Ranges
Or conduct a keyword search using the following term:
  • Adnyamathanha
See also the Library Guide on the Nepabunna Mission.
For more assistance, talk with staff at the Library's Information Desk or Ask Us.

Written Resources

The Adnyamathanha people : Aboriginal people of the Flinders Ranges : an Aboriginal studies course for secondary students, c1992.

Bonney, Neville. Adnyamathanha and beyond : useful plants of an ancient land, 2007.

Brock, Peggy. Outback ghettos : Aborigines, institutionalisation and survival, 1993.

Brock, Peggy. Yura and Udnyu : a history of the Adnyamathanha of the North Flinders Ranges, 1985.

Coulthard, Terrence & Josephine. Adnyamathanha : a culture guide and language book, 2020.

Davis, Christine and McKenzie, Pearl. Adnyamathanha genealogy, 1985.

Ellis, Julie & Bob. Nepabunna: a brief history, 2011.

The Flinders Ranges : an Aboriginal view, 1986.

Koolmatrie, Jacinta. Rock art and Yura Malka: A study on the relevance of archaeological rock art practices and theories from Adnyamathanha perspectives, 2018.

Lamshed, Max. 'Monty': the biography of C.P. Mountford, 1972. Ch. 10.

Marsh, Jillian. A critical analysis of decision-making protocols used in approving a commercial mining license for the Beverley Uranium Mine in Adnyamathanha Country... 2011.

Mountford, Charles P. Women of the Adnjamatana tribe of the Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 1941.

Neville, Lily. Adnyamathanha Ngawarla, 2007.

Ross, Betty. Minerawuta : Ram Paddock Gate : an historic Adnyamathanha settlement in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 1989.

Survival in our own land : 'Aboriginal' experiences in 'South Australia' since 1836. Ch. 28 'Nepabunna', p. 227-234

Tunbridge, Dorothy. Flinders Ranges dreaming, 1988.

Tunbridge, Dorothy. Artefacts of the Flinders Ranges : an illustrated dictionary of artefacts used by the Adnyamathanha, c1985.

Listening to songs at Nepabunna

PRG 1218/34/794B, Mountford-Sheard Collection.

The Library holds many photographs relating to this topic, which can be viewed online by searching the Library catalogue.

Mountford-Sheard Collection

This record group comprises a unique collection of material amassed by C. P. Mountford during a career spanning the 1930s to the 1960s and includes material relating to the Adnyamathanha people. See more at SA Memory - Nepabunna

Access to Mountford-Sheard Collection

All access to the Mountford-Sheard Collection is by prior arrangement.

Please consult the catalogue and the list of Mountford's expeditions on this guide to ascertain which parts of the collection you wish to access.

For enquiries contact Ask Us 

If the material that you wish to access is deemed to contain sacred/secret content it cannot be viewed without permission from the relevant Aboriginal community.

Permission will also have to be sought if you wish to copy or publish images that contain Aboriginal people or Aboriginal intellectual property or traditional knowledge.

It is the responsibility of the customer to obtain these permissions. 

Periodical articles

To locate journal articles, access the State Library's eResources.

Selected South Australian newspapers, published prior to 1955, have been digitised as part of the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.

Further newspaper articles may be identified by using the following, Newspaper index : references to Aborigines in Adelaide newspapers, 1836-1940, 1989.