Lesson 5


There are many different environments within the Coorong region, from scrub, swamp, to the vast ocean. Let’s explore the Coorong together and learn some Tanganekald ruminyeri (Tanganekald).

Parts of the Coorong

Tanganekald ruminyeri has words to describe general parts of the Coorong area and Coorong lagoon itself. Let's have a look!

Which parts of the Coorong have you been to?
lerami inland country
tenggi Coorong shore on landward side
pandalapi lagoon of the Coorong
paringari shore of the Coorong lagoon
natuniyuru sandhills of coast
yurli ocean beach
omanang head of the Coorong
Names of the Coorong
Deadly work! Here are some more words to describe Tanganekald ruwi 'country'.
ruwi country
tatiari mallee desert to the north
keinyarangali grass tree scrub country
kororikara tea-tree country
lora swamp

Ocean words

The ocean is a huge part of life in the Coorong region. Let's look at some ocean specific words now.
thalma beach; inlet
yaluwar ocean, specifically the Southern Ocean
yilgi saltwater; the sea
nari shore
narimeing shore line
morinyeri belonging to the seashore (e.g. water flowing down the beach, birds, etc)
ngamataro shore food. This applies to birds, shells, and fish to be had on the beach

Sky words

The sky is home to the taldarawei 'sun' which is crucial for life on earth. The night sky and its constellations acts as a compass and serve as seasonal markers. It is also home to important ancestral beings.
tupaduwi sky
taldarawei sun
There is a Tanganekald superstition that if you face the taldarawei 'sun' and stretch, you give your life away and will die soon.
karanta star
marakari moon
Ngawiri Southern Cross
Yuki Milky Way
The Ngawiri is the stingray, which has two sharks following it. Throughout the night the Ngawiri may turn and swim through the sky.
Yuki is another name for a canoe. The Ancestral being Ngurunderi throws his canoe up into the sky and it becomes the Yuki, the Milky Way.
Mantjingga Pleiades; Seven Sisters
The Songline featuring the Mantjingga describes this constellation as a group of 7 or 8 girls and a single boy. The boy went with the girls to look for a firestick, as his fire had gone out.
Lawari Kark Vega, the principal star in the constellation Lyra
The Lawari Kark, is the brightest karanta 'star' in the constellation of Lyra. This is an important constellation to the Tanganekald people as the constellation is the mallee hen. Its appearance in the winter sky symbolises the beginning of lukuru wuli 'mallee egg' laying season, which means that this yummy food is available soon and it is time to look for ngawandi 'mound/nest' of the mallee hen.
Waiyungari the planet Mars; Ancestral Being
There is an important songline associated with Waiyungari, an Ancestral being. He was a red narambi 'youth' undergoing initiation. He stole two women during a time when it is forbidden to fraternise. It is said, when the planet Mars is at its brightest (end of August to November), men's longing for women is enhanced.
kaianggel rainbow
The kaianggel is a weapon used by Ngurunderi, an Ancestral being. The kaianggel was used to defeat and kill Peremperemi, who was a stranger armed with a lashed on hooked spear.


Water is the giver of life for the Coorong region. Various water supplies such as springs and creeks flow in various location. 
karikin waterhole
kuri creek; river
munkuli fresh water of the Murray river
ngarang spring
parenguki any fresh water
tiwur fast moving flood water or tide as of The Needles on the Coorong
yilgi salt water; the sea


As seasons come and go, Tanganekald ruminyeri reflects the seasonal shift.
Have a look outside, what kind of weather do you see around?
dalomari fog
korongkondolei rumbling thunder
korowalda great heat
mantal thunder
mantawu storm
murnong clouds
ngulu lightning strike
paldara hailstone
parna rain
tupadawar rain cloud
turtangal lightning; forked lightning
winkun windy; breezy
yorti cold
Fantastic work! Let's use some of the words for country in some sentences.
Yauwi parenguki? Nganam? Where is fresh water? Is it nearby?

yauwi means ‘where’, parenguki means ‘fresh water’ and nganam means ‘nearby’.

Ngun keinyarangali-ungai ngopal. We will go to the grass tree.
ngun means 'we all', keinyarangali means 'grass tree country', the ending -ungai means 'to' and ngopal means 'will go'.
Meiminar torawun lukuru wuli tatiari-angk The women are collecting mallee hen egg in the mallee desert.
meimini means 'woman' and the ending -ar means 'more than two', so meiminar means 'women', torawun means 'collecting', lukuru wuli means 'mallee hen egg', tatiari means 'mallee desert' and the ending -angk means 'in, at, on'.
Mantawu nandjuritj puntun. The storm is coming this way.
mantawu means 'storm', nandjuritj means 'this way' and puntun means 'coming'.