The Kareldi was a name assigned by Norman Tindale to Aboriginal Australian peoples of the state of Queensland. There were two groups that went by this name, the Garandi (Karandi), after the Garandi language, and the Gkuthaarn (Kutanda, Kuthant, Kotanda), after the Gkuthaarn language. It is not clear if they constituted a single people, but it appears that there were two dialects in the same area.[1][2]

In addition, Tindale said that "Kotanda", sometimes used for both the Gkuthaarn and Garandi languages but also applied to the Kalibamu people, was also sometimes used for the Kareldi people.[3]


The Kareldi held, in Tindale's estimation, some 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2) of land, extending over the mouth of the Norman River and westwards from Normanton to the Flinders River. Their domain included Karumba and the Swinburne River. Their inland extension went as far as Milgarra, Maggieville, and Stirling.[4]

W.E. Armit, Inspector of Native Police, had earlier written in Curr's 1886 volume that the land of the "Karrandee tribe" commenced at the mouth of the River Bryce, passed the mouth of the Norman River, and continued along the coast to a saltwater creek "within 15 miles (24 km) of the Gilbert", and extended inland as far as Magowra Station and Walker's Creek, comprising around 2,000 square miles (5,200 km2).[5]

Frontier wars

When European settlers moved into the Gulf of Carpentaria region and established Normanton in the 1870s, there were an estimated seven Aboriginal peoples in the area, and the frontier wars blurred and confused the boundaries of traditional lands. By the 1920s, many Aboriginal people had been forcibly removed to Aboriginal reserves and missions. The Gkuthaarn and Kukatj people who remained lived in camps along the south-western side of the town, while others, such as the Kurtijar people, camped north of the Norman River.[6]

Native title

On 29 September 2020 the Kukatj and Gkuthaarn peoples won a native title determination over more than 16,000 square kilometres (6,200 sq mi) west of the Norman River, including Normanton, as far as the Leichhardt River. Their recognition as traditional owners of the land, eight years after lodging the claim, allows the two groups to hunt, hunt and practise their culture and their cultural ceremonies on pastoral land.[6][7]

Alternative names


Main articles: Gkuthaarn language and Garandi language

It is not clear whether the Gkuthaarn (Kutanda) and Garandi (Karandi) were the same language, or different dialects.

Some words

According to W.E. Armit, inspector of Native Police in 1886, these were some words of the "Karrandee tribe":[5]

Indigenous rangers

The Gkuthaarn Kukatj Indigenous Land & Sea Ranger group is a group of Indigenous rangers made up of Kukatj and Gkuthaarn people, help to protect the natural resources and cultural heritage of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria region. The group is managed by the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (CLCAC).[8]



  1. ^ G31 Gkuthaarn at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ G32 Garandi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ G27 Kalibamu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 174.
  5. ^ a b Armit 1886, p. 308.
  6. ^ a b Barry, Derek (30 September 2020). "Native title win for Gkuthaarn and Kukatj people". The North West Star. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Native Title Determination Details: QCD2020/002 - Gkuthaarn and Kukatj People". National Native Title Tribunal. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Gkuthaarn Kukatj Indigenous Land & Sea Ranger". Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.