Agwamin (Wamin) [Y132].

Head of Einasleigh and Copperfield rivers; north to Georgetown, Mount Surprise, and Lancewood; east to Dividing Range; west to headwaters of Percy River; at Oak Park and Forsayth, also on the ranges; at Einasleigh.

Aboriginal people were misplaced early from their land due to the gold rush and headed the Atherton table lands.

The Ewamian People #2 are acknowledged in the Carpentaria Gulf Region – Native Title Claimant Applications and Determination Areas – As per The Federal Court 31 December 2018 – National Native Title Tribunal map.

Dixon (1966:108) does not differentiate between this valid tribe and the Wakaman whose territories are quite separate and wrongly placed on his sketch map; his compass directions are reversed.

Language comment: According to Sutton’s informant (Sutton 1976:116-117), Agwamin and Wamin were mutually intelligible dialects, the former being ‘heavy’ and the latter ‘light’. The same informant also stated that Agwamin was the name of the people, while Wamin is the name of the language, and Wagaman was an alternative name for both.

However, the comparison of two-word lists collected by Sutton, one on Agwamin and another on Wamin shows that they are separate dialects. Dixon, however, seems to treat Wamin as an alternative name of Agwamin. Some of items catalogued as being on Wagaman in MURA could be on Agwamin.

Alternative names: Tindale (1974) Ewamin, Wimanja (valid alternative), Agwamin, Egwamin, Gwamin, Ak Waumin, Wamin, Wommin, Waumin, Wawmin, Walamin, Wommin, Walming, Wailoolo. O’Grady et al (1966):  Ak-Waumin, Wamin, Wommin, Waumin, Wawmin, Walamin.


  1. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies
    AIATSIS – AUSTLANG Y132: Agwamin
  2. Research Report Bibliograhy for Ewamian People but not Native title claim registered
  3. Selected bibliography of material on the Agwamin language and people held in the AIATSIS Library.
  4. Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
  5. Sutton, Peter. 1976. The diversity of initial dropping languages in southern Cape York. In Languages of Cape York, 102-123. Canberra: AIAS.
  6. Sutton, Peter., Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. General Meeting, & Linguistic Symposium. (1976). Languages of Cape York : Papers Presented to the Linguistic Symposium, Part B, Held in Conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Biennial General Meeting, May,1974 .
  7. Sutton, Peter, 1946, Report of linguistic fieldwork in north-east Queensland, June to August 1970 Publication info: [Sydney] 1970. Annotation: Tape transcriptions; elicitation of vocabulary, sentences, narratives and song words; languages and dialects include Gwamin.
  8. Sharp, Lauriston (1943) Notes on northeast Australian totemism. Source: Coon, C.S.; Andrews, J.M. — Studies in the anthropology of Oceania and Asia, 1943; 66-71 — map– Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Papers. Vol. 20.
  9. Sharp, Lauriston Tribes and totemism in north-east Australia. Source: Oceania, v.9, no.3, 1939; [254]-275; no.4, 1939; [439]-461 — map.
  10. Tindale, Norman B. & Birdsell, Joseph B. (Joseph Benjamin), Tasmanoid tribes in North Queensland : (results of the Harvard-Adelaide Universities Anthropological Expedition, 1938-1939).  Source: South Australian Museum — Records ; Vol. 7, no.1 p: p. 1-9 (1941)
  11. Wegner, Janice (1990) – The Etheridge. Publication info: Townsville, Qld. : James Cook University of North Queensland, Dept. of History and Politics, 1990. ISBN: 0864433689 . Annotation: History of Etheridge Shire in far north Queensland. Chapter 1 entitled “First Settlers” discusses traditional Aboriginal life on the Etheridge pp. 1-8. Racial hostility between Aboriginal people and gold prospectors pp. 30-34. “The Aborigines Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act” p. 179.
  12. Grimwade, G. (n.d.). 7859 Croydon Oral Histories and Report on the Cairns Timber Mill at Yungaburra 2001 at the State Library of Queensland – John Oxley Library.
  13. Gribble, E. R. B. (Ernest Richard Bulmer), 1869-1957 Collected papers, 1892-1970. See finding aid at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies – Canberra.
  14. Roth, 1897;
  15. Parry-Okeden, 1897;
  16. Hultman, 1907;
  17. Sharp, 1939;MS;
  18. Dixon, 1966.

Language Greeting

Greeting – Pumbarra oomba = good day Pronunciation – Poom-bah-ra oom-bah