The distribution and ethnozoology of frogs (and toad) in north-eastern Arnhem Land (Australia)

Valérie BOLL

en Anthropozoologica 39 (2) - Pages 61-72

Published on 01 December 2004

In this paper, I cover aspects of the ethnozoology of inhabitants of Gängan, an Aboriginal outstation located in Yolngu territory, in N.E. Arnhem Land, Northern Australia. I review the occurrence and distribution of frogs and the ethnozoology of these animals as viewed by Dhalwangu, a Yolngu clan. Particular emphasis is placed on amphibian traditions and beliefs, local nomenclature, taxonomy, and natural history as conceived by the Dhalwangu. A full understanding of the symbolism of Garkman, the frog, and its relatedness to other aspects of their culture is only beginning to be realized. The spread of the Cane toad in Yolngu lands will presumably have a significant impact on the other amphibians and the broader-ecosystem.


Ethnozoology, amphibians, frogs, folk beliefs, Aborigines, Yolngu, Arhnem Land, Australia.

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