Bandaiyan: Indigenous Names of Australian Cities

Bandaiyan: Indigenous Names of Australian Cities. Map: Jordan Engel

The meanings of the Ngarinyin word bandaiyan include ‘landmass, nature, people in relationship.’ According to the late Ngarinyin elder David Mowaljarlai, Bandaiyan refers to the to whole of Australia. We use this term and all the other Indigenous names on this map in recognition that this continent is home to hundreds of peoples with their own languages who formed deep-rooted relationships with the land long before colonizers came and declared it Australia.

Shown on the map are the traditional territories of about 500 Indigenous groups, based on research from the 1996 Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, commonly called the “Horton map,” with a stylistic nod to Papunya Tula dot painting and the Western Desert Art Movement. The map’s South-up orientation shows a distinctly non-European perspective of the land down under.


As always, Decolonial Atlas maps can be reused under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.

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