The Mbewum were an indigenous Australian people of the Cape York Peninsula of northern Queensland. They were dispossessed and became extinct soon after colonization.


The Mbewum spoke Mbiywom, a northern Paman language[1]


The Mbewum had an estimated 600 square miles (1,600 km2) of tribal domain territory on the Upper Watson River, which included Merluna[2] in the area 120 miles south-east of Weipa. Their land, together with that of the Totj was incorporated into a state-run enterprise, the Queensland State Pastoral Station of that name, which by 1916 was running over 12,000 head of cattle.[3][4]

Social organization

They had four kinship divisions like other tribes in the area, according to R. H. Mathews.[5]

Alternative names



  1. ^ Dixon 2002, p. xxxi.
  2. ^ a b Tindale 1974, p. 181.
  3. ^ Cohen 1988, p. 233.
  4. ^ May 1994, p. 212,n6.
  5. ^ Mathews 1900, pp. 131–135.
  6. ^ Mathews 1900, p. 131.