The Gubbi Gubbi people are an Aboriginal Australian people native to south-eastern Queensland. They are now classified as one of several Murri language groups in Queensland.
|Regions with significant populations|
|South East Queensland|
The Gubbi Gubbi people, alternatively known as Kabi Kabi[a] are an Aboriginal Australian people native to south-eastern Queensland. They are now classified as one of several Murri language groups in Queensland.
As is often the case, ethnonyms distinguishing one tribe from another select the word used by any one group for the concept 'no', which is the meaning of kabi/gubbi/gabi. AIATSIS's Austlang database prefers Gubbi Gubbi, so this spelling convention has been adopted for this article. A 1998 article by historian Malcolm D Prentis states that this form was the preferred name at his time of writing. However, as seen in the native title claims detailed below and the author of the "Gubbi Gubbi" website, which purports to represent the Gubbi Gubbi Traditional Owners, there is disagreement both about the name and which group(s) represent the nation or peoples known as Gubbi Gubbi or Kabi Kabi. The Kabi Kabi Aboriginal Corporation was reconstituted with a new board in 2008, and has "a commercial partnership with North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (NCACCH)".
Various spellings exist in colonial records of the ethnonym:
- Dippil (generic descriptor also for adjacent several tribes speaking similar languages)
- Doondoora, Dundubara, Doondooburra. (Hervey Bay people)
- Dowarburra. (group north of Kilkivan)
- Kabbi, Kahby, Carby
- Kabi Kabi
- Kubi Kubi
- Maiba (river chestnut people)
John Mathew, who lived among them, described the Gubbi Gubbi lands as roughly coextensive with the Mary River Basin, though stretching beyond it north to the Burrum River and south along the coast itself. He estimated their territory to cover 8,200 square miles (21,000 km2). According to Norman Tindale, however, the Gubbi Gubbi people were an inland group living in the Wide Bay–Burnett area, and their lands extended over 3,700 square miles (9,600 km2) and lay west of Maryborough. The northern borders ran as far as Childers and Hervey Bay. On the south, they approached the headwaters of the Mary River and Cooroy. Westwards, they reached as far as the Coast Ranges and Kilkivan. Gubbi Gubbi country is currently located between Pumicestone Road, near Caboolture in the south, through to Childers in the north. Their country was originally rain forest, with cleared areas created by regular firing of the scrub.[b]
Their language was Gabi-Gabi (Gubbi Gubbi), consisting of a number of closely related dialects belonging to the Waka-Kabic branch of the Pama-Nyungan languages. The Australian English word coolabah, denoting a type of Eucalyptus, was borrowed from Gabi-Gabi.
One variety of the language was first described by the Reverend William Ridley on the basis of notes taken from an interview with James Davis in 1855. Davis lived among the Ginginbara clan and called it Dippil,[c] a word however that early Gubbi Gubbi informants appear to have been unfamiliar with.
History of contact
Some Gubbi Gubbi died in the mass poisoning of upwards of 60 Aboriginal on the Kilcoy run in 1842. A further 50-60 are said to have been killed by food laced with arsenic at Whiteside Station in April 1847. As colonial entrepreneurs pushed into their territory to establish pastoral stations, they together with the Butchulla set up a fierce resistance: from 1847 to 1853, 28 squatters and their shepherds were killed. In June 1849 two youths, the Pegg brothers, were speared on the property while herding sheep. Gregory Blaxland, the 7th son of the eponymous explorer Gregory Blaxland took vengeance, heading a vigilante posse of some 50 squatters and station hands and, at Bingera, ambushed a group of 100 sleeping myalls of the "Gin gin tribe" who are usually identified now as the Gubbi Gubbi. They had feasted on stolen sheep. Marksmen picked off many, even those fleeing by diving into the Burnett River. The slaughter was extensive, and the bones of many of the dead were uncovered on the site many decades later. Blaxland was in turn killed in a payback action sometime in July–August 1850. His death was revenged in a further large-scaled massacre of tribes in the area.[d]
The escaped convict James Davis, in addition to dwelling with several other tribes, is said to have lived for a time with the Gubbi Gubbi. John Mathew, a clergyman turned anthropologist, also spent five years with them at Manumbar and mastered their language. He described their society in a 1910 monograph, Two Representative Tribes of Queensland. The Gubbi Gubbi people he grew up with numbered no more than a score by the early 1880s, and by 1906, after they had been forcibly removed to the Barambah reserve, (an Aboriginal reserve created under the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 ), he stated that only 3-4 full-blooded members of the group remained among the 'remnants'.
Culture and people
Gubbi Gubbi people – their preferred name now (1998) over the form Kabi Kabi often mentioned in the early ethnographic literature -[e] were one of the hosts for the great bunya nut festivals every three years, which attracted many people from distant areas to the area of the Blackall Range.
Their initiation ceremonies (kivar-yēngga/man-making) took place at a site with a dhur, or bora circle and were presided over by a kamaran (headman). The most notable sites selected for initiation were at Boobangery on the Yabber run, Waraba near Caboolture, and Biuoraba near Ipswich.
The Gubbi Gubbi were divided into several clans or bora:
|Dauwa-bora||Noise of hacking people||North of Mount Bopple|
|Gunda-bora||Cabbage Palm people||Mount Bopple|
|Kaiya-bora||Bite people||near Widgee|
|Kunyam-bora||Pine tree people||South of Mount Bopple|
|Kuli-bora||Native bee people||South Burnett|
|Baiyam-bora||Pipe people||Yabba Creek (Imbil)|
Native title claims
There has been a number of native title claims by various groups of contemporary Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people, all through the same representative body, the Southern and Western Queensland Region.
One group, under Eve Fesl ,[honours 1] using the "Gubbi Gubbi" spelling, lodged three claims. A claim lodged in 1996 was for an area of Glasshouse Mountains, registered in 1996 and dismissed in 2007. A second claim lodged in 1996 was accepted for registration, although it was noted that two people who stated that they were "Kabi person[s]" had not given their consent to use their family history, or authorise this claim. This claim was discontinued. The representative Dyungungoo corporation website displays the area mapped as part of the process of claiming native title in 1999. A third claim was lodged in February 2008 and discontinued two months later.
Other groups of descendants, using the "Kabi Kabi" spelling of the name, have made a total of six applications for native title, with some earlier ones combined into later ones and one as of 2021 still active. The first two, made in 2006, were discontinued, while the third in the same year was dismissed. Claims made in 2013, and 2016 were combined, resulting in a sixth claim in 2018, which is still active. This claim covers an area from Redcliffe, not far north of Brisbane to around Isis Junction, in the Bundaberg region, but excluding Maryborough.
- kavai (small stingless light-grey native bee).
- killa (small stingless dark native bee)
- mothar/dhi (whiteman)
- mular (ceremonial scars)
- (n)a'von (mother)
- pa'bun (father)
- widha karum (wild dog)
- wiyidha/widha (tame dog)
- wunya (greeting)
- Arthur Beetson, Queensland Rugby League player and former Australian captain
- Eve Fesl ,[honours 1] former champion discus thrower of Victoria and Queensland, and the first Koori to receive a PhD from an Australian university in 1990. She is a member of both the Gubbi Gubbi and Gungulu nations.
- Lance McCallum, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland for the Electoral District of Bundamba, who mentioned his heritage during his inaugural speech on 19 May 2020.
- Gubbi Gubbi is an alternative spelling for Kabi Kabi.
- John Mathew's description of the Gubbi Gubbi people he knew describes their land as embracing 'the Manumbar Run in the south-west corner of the Burnett District, the country watered by the Amamoor and Koondangoor creeks, tributaries of the Mary River, and the Imbil Station (Mathew 1887, p. 152).
- Editor's note: 'Darpil' is registered by Tindale as an alternate name for the Taribelang directly north of the Gubbi Gubbi (Steele 2015, p. 160; Tindale 1974, p. 185).
- A force was organized among all these settlers and their employees, and they set out on their mission of revenge guided by the friendly gin already referred to. The fugitive blacks were tracked down the Burnett River, where they had foregathered at a place now called Paddy's Island, not far from the mouth of the river. It was estimated by the white party that there were about a thousand blacks congregated here when the attack was made, and the result was the blacks suffered severely. The avenging whites were determined to end the antagonistic blacks' attitude towards their settlements. It is not known how many blacks were killed in this fight, but they must have numbered hundreds; but it is also known that a large number escaped into the Wongarra scrub on the south side of the river. This attack really broke the power of the blacks in this region. They continued to be hostile often in individual cases, but were never afterwards a serious menace (Laurie 1952, p. 713).
- 'the Kabi Kabi (who now prefer to call themselves Gubbi Gubbi),' (Prentis 1998, pp. 62–63)
- Bottos 2013, p. 21.
- Jarratt 2021.
- Tindale 1974, p. 42.
- Mathew 1910, p. 67.
- E29 Gubbi Gubbi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Prentis 1998, pp. 62–63.
- Gubbi Gubbi: Q&A.
- KKAC: About Us.
- Tindale 1974, p. 172.
- Mathew 1910, pp. 67–68.
- Mathew 1910, pp. 68–69.
- Dixon 2011, p. 551.
- Mathew 1910, p. 68.
- Greer 2014, p. 134.
- Bottos 2013, p. 25.
- Maynard & Haskins 2016, p. 99.
- Reid 2006, p. 16.
- Bottos 2013, pp. 25–26.
- Laurie 1952, pp. 709–717.
- Osbaldiston 2017, p. 109.
- Mathews 2007, p. 10.
- Mathew 1887, p. 153.
- Hill 2016.
- Mathew 1910, p. 80.
- Tindale 1974, p. 124.
- Mathew 1910, pp. 92–94.
- Kind 2016, p. 85.
- Steele 2015, p. 218.
- Mathew 1910, pp. 97–110.
- Tindale 1974, p. 21.
- Mathew 1910, p. 130.
- NNTT: Gubbi Gubbi.
- NNTT: Kabi Kabi.
- NNTT: Glasshouse Mt 1996b.
- (NNTT: Glasshouse Mt 1996b)
- NNTT: Gubbi Gubbi #2 1999.
- Russo 2001.
- Dyungungoo 2013.
- NNTT: Gubbi Gubbi #3 2008.
- NNTT: discontinued.
- NNTT 2013.
- NNTT: Kabi Kabi First Nation 1999.
- NNTT: Kabi Kabi QC2018/007 2019.
- NNTT: Kabi Kabi – map.
- Mathew 1910, p. 86.
- Mathew 1887, p. 196.
- Mathew 1887, p. 156.
- Kovacic 2019.
"Member of the Order of Australia (AM) entry for Ms Evelyn Doreen FESL". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 January 1988.
In recognition of service to the development of multi-culturalism in Australia and to the preservation of Aboriginal culture and language
- "About Us: Kabi Kabi Aboriginal Corporation – kabikabi". kabikabi. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Application Details: Glasshouse Mt - Gubbi Gubbi (QC1996/070)". National Native Title Tribunal. 26 June 1996a. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Application Details: Gubbi Gubbi People #2 (QC1999/035)". National Native Title Tribunal. 24 December 1999. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
Application status: Discontinued
- "Application Details: Gubbi Gubbi People #3 (QC2008/002)". National Native Title Tribunal. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
Application status: Discontinued
- "Application Details: Kabi Kabi First Nation (QC2013/003)". National Native Title Tribunal. 24 December 1999. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
Registered from 7/08/2013 to 8/02/2019. Application status Pre-combination
- "Application Details: Kabi Kabi First Nation Traditional Owners Native Title Claim Group (QC2018/007)". National Native Title Tribunal. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Bottos, Timothy (2013). Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland's Frontier Killing Times. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-743-31382-4.
- Deming, Willoughby (2015). Understanding the Religions of the World: An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-77055-9.
- Dixon, Robert M. W. (2011). "Australian Aboriginal Words in Dictionaries". In Aikhenvald, Alexandra; Dixon, Robert M. W. (eds.). Language at Large: Essays on Syntax and Semantics. BRILL. pp. 529–553. ISBN 978-9-004-20768-4.
- "E29: Gubbi Gubbi". AIATSIS.
- "Eve Fesl". UQP. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Extract from Schedule of Native Title Applications" (PDF). National Native Title Tribunal. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Greer, Germaine (2014). White Beech: The Rainforest Years. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-408-84671-1.
- Hill, Janine (30 December 2016). "Elder honoured with UN award". Gympie Times. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
- Jarratt, Phil (2021). Place of Shadows: The History of Noosa. Boolarong Press. ISBN 978-1-925-87796-0.
- Kind, Peter K. (2016). "The Natural History of the Australian Lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft, 1870)". In Jorgensen, Jorden Morup; Joss, Jean (eds.). The Biology of Lungfishes. CRC Press. pp. 61–96. ISBN 978-1-439-84861-6.
- Kovacic, Leonarda (14 May 2019). "Fesl, Eve Mumewa D". Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Laurie, Arthur (27 November 1952). "Early Gin Gin and the Blaxland Tragedy" (PDF). Historical Society of Queensland: 709–717.
- "Map" (PDF). Government of Queensland. 11 October 2013.
- Mathew, John (1887). "Mary River and Bunya Bunya Country" (PDF). In Curr, Edward Micklethwaite (ed.). The Australian race: its origin, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over the continent. 3. Melbourne: J. Ferres. pp. 152–209 – via Internet Archive.
- Mathew, John (1910). Two Representative Tribes of Queensland (PDF). T. Fisher Unwin.
- Mathews, Robert Hamilton (2007). Thomas, Martin Edward (ed.). Culture in Translation: The Anthropological Legacy of R. H. Mathews. Australian National University Press. ISBN 978-1-921-31324-0.
- Maynard, John; Haskins, Victoria Katharine (2016). Living with the Locals: Early Europeans' Experience of Indigenous Life. National Library of Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-27895-1.
- Osbaldiston, Nick (2017). Towards a Sociology of the Coast: Our Past, Present and Future Relationship to the Shore. Springer. ISBN 978-1-137-48680-6.
- Prentis, Malcolm D. (1998). "Research and friendship: John Mathew and his Aboriginal informants". Aboriginal History. 22: 62–93. JSTOR 24046160.
- "Q&A". Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi). Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "QC2013/003 - Kabi Kabi First Nation". National Native Title Tribunal. 31 May 2013.
- "QUD280/2013 Kabi Kabi First Nation (Combined) Native Title Determination Application" (Map). National Native Title Tribunal. QSNTS. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Reid, Gordon (2006). "That Unhappy Race": Queensland and the Aboriginal Problem, 1838-1901. Australian scholarly publishing. ISBN 978-1-740-97104-1.
- Russo, Frank (7 September 2001). "Registration Test: Edited Statement of Reasons for Publication on NNTT Website" (PDF). National Native Title Tribunal. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Search Native Title Applications, Registration Decisions and Determinations [Using "Gubbi Gubbi"]". National Native Title Tribunal. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
- "Search Native Title Applications, Registration Decisions and Determinations [Using "Kabi Kabi"]". National Native Title Tribunal. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
- Steele, John Gladstone (2015) [First published 1984]. Aboriginal Pathways: in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 978-0-702-25742-1.
- Tindale, Norman (1974). Aboriginal Tribes of Australia, Kabikabi (QLD). Australian National University Press.
- Gubbi Gubbi Dyungungoo
- O'Connell, Margaret (November 2014). "Selected bibliography of material on Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi / Gabi Gabi language and people held in the AIATSIS Library" (PDF). Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2020.