Nhawu speakers lived in the southwestern half of Eyre Peninsula in the time just prior to the colonisation of South Australia. The Nhawu people were subject to raids by whalers and sealers in the decades prior to official colonisation.

Norman Tindale could not locate any Nhawu people in the 1930s and drew his account of  Nhawu territory primarily from Wirangu and Barngarla speakers. Nhawu is closely related to the nearby Barngarla and Wirangu languages. Nhawu-identifying people today live on the Eyre Peninsula and Adelaide. The Mobile Language Team has recently reconstructed the Nhawu language from the 10 words recorded by German missionary C.W. Schürmann to 300 words.  An online language learning site for Nawu is in preparation.

AIATSIS id : L.02


Battara [= scrubby gum], Gnowoo, Hilleri(?), Kadu [= man], Kartawon-gulta, Kartwongulta, Naua, Nawa, Nawo, Neow, New O, Ngao, Njao, Njau, Now, Nowo, Wiljaru (of Barngarla, means ‘westerners’), Willuro.


The above map is based upon the Horton Indigenous Map of Australia © Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, and Auslig/Sinclair, Knight, Merz, 1996. The full map is available on the AIATSIS website. The locations of the languages of SA, as stated on the this website are not intended for Land Claim use, and are an approximate guide only. Individual language project locations are based on information from publicly available MILR (ILS) documents.