Olkola Linguistic Notes and Sources

In the area surrounding Laura – from the Laura River to the Kennedy, Normanby and Deighton Rivers, east to the Hell’s Gate track and South of Laura, at least twelve different languages were spoken by clans of the region. Clans were the primary land owning and using groups, whereas the language-named *tribes* of today are believed to represent post-colonial social formations (Rigsby 2003; Haviland and Haviland 1980).
For example, Roth used the term *Koko Warra* to describe *various mutually-friendly groups of natives wandering over the hinterland south and east of Princess Charlotte Bay, speaking within certain limits similar dialects and practicing similar usages and customs* (Roth 1910:53). However, Rigsby has concluded that the term *Koko Warra* refers to a number of distinct clans and languages such as the Sugar-bag Bee language, which was spoken towards Laura (Rigsby 2003). The cultural network included clans of the North Kennedy, Normanby and Laura Rivers, as well as clans who spoke varieties of Gugu Yimithirr, Lamalama, Olkola and Kuku Yalanji.

Sommer Collection:

Uw Ananggaw, recorded with Dick K(unjen?) in 1972 (Box 30 – Item 6). Speaker says this is the same language as Willie Long (Olkola)

Roth – Ulkulu language notes (Koko Olkolo)(Box 14 – Folder 29)