Native toAustralia
RegionCape York Peninsula, Queensland
EthnicityNgawun, Wanamara
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
nxn – Ngawun
wnn – Wunumara
Glottologngaw1240  Ngawun
AIATSIS[1]G17 Ngawun, G16.1 Wunumura

Ngawun is an extinct Mayi language once spoken on the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, Australia, by the Wunumara and Ngawun peoples. The last speaker of the language was Cherry O'Keefe (or Tjapun in the language) who died of pneumonia on 24 August 1977.[2]

The etymology of the name Ngawun is unknown.

Wanamarra (also known as Maykulan and Wunumura) was spoken in North West Queensland. The language region includes areas within the Shire of McKinlay, Shire of Cloncurry and Shire of Richmond, including the Flinders River area, and the towns of Kynuna and Richmond.[3]


  1. ^ G17 Ngawun at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  2. ^ Breen, Gavan (1981). The Mayi languages of the Queensland Gulf Country. Canberra: AIAS. p. 13. ISBN 0-85575-124-X.
  3. ^
    This Wikipedia article incorporates CC-BY-4.0 licensed text from: "Wanamarra". Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 5 February 2020.