Map of Aboriginal Australia

The Aboriginal Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Map of Indigenous Australia below celebrates the diversity of Aboriginal language across WA. Language plays a central role in culture and understanding of country. As AIATSIS states

‘For thousands of years, the original inhabitants of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples occupied the lands with very different boundaries than today, centred on intimate cultural relationships with the land and sea. The map is an attempt to represent all the language, tribal or nation groups of the Indigenous peoples of Australia. The borders between groups are purposefully represented as slightly blurred. Regions were determined using the watershed basis as a template. They do not claim to be exact.’

The map demonstrates the vast, broad and diverse culture and connection Aboriginals have with this state and how different maps of culture and watersheds are to ‘modern day’ maps with straight lines. If this is to be honestly and truly called ‘our coast, ngalang booyembara, our country, ngalang boodjar’ we must reflect this map more in how we work and who we work with. We must also strive together, dandjoo warniny, to see it happen.

Please click on the map below if you wish to zoom in and focus on specific areas.

This map attempts to represent the language, social or nation groups of Aboriginal Australia. It shows only the general locations of larger groupings of people which may include clans, dialects or individual languages in a group. It used published resources from 1988-1994 and is not intended to be exact, nor the boundaries fixed. It is not suitable for native title or other land claims. David R Horton (creator), © AIATSIS, 1996. No reproduction without permission. To purchase a print version visit: