The Clans of Kgippandingi
According to the ancient Legend of Gympie, there were originally ten major clans of native peoples occupying the jungle lands of Bpi'kgila-dhu'ri - the central Mary River region around Gympie between 1851-1885. The ten ancient clans still spoke variations of an ancient language called Kgaw'bpidhal'i (Kgaw'bvi: Kgabi: Kabi) along the Mary River.
Their rich lands extended from the high banks of the Mary River to the inland and coastal ranges east and west of the mighty river. Their ancient language was the universal language of "nowhere but of everywhere" meaning that it belonged to no one. However, because everyone spoke it in some way or form, this may point to the firm possibility that it may have been one of the earliest surviving language bases and the due forerunner to the five known original language dialects of South East Queensland (Bat'ja, Wak'ka, Yugara'bul, Yugum'bir and Kga'bi).
It appears therefore that, because of these close clan associations, many early historians of Aboriginal history mistakenly called all the speakers of the language collectively as we still do today - the Ka'bi race even though all resident regional clans were separate identities with different dialects, customs and lifestyles. From what we now know from the writings of these early historians and later research projects, this is how the classification Ka'bi race originated as an early collective reference.
This classification is compounded by the fact that very little was ever recorded of the Mary River Valley clans who by default, supposition and theory, were recorded as having similar characteristics to those clans found in and around the other early European pioneering settlement regions of South East Queensland when such claims were not so. It is now a reasonably established fact from modern-day research that some of these historians could not have or never had been in the traditional Kabi lands - their travels taking them into the fringe areas of the coast, the Brisbane River valley, Connondale Ranges and the south Burnett regions even into the early town port of Maryborough. These regions were in the territories of the Yugumbi, Ugara, Wakka and Batja: Batjala. The Noosa-Tewantin-Nambour region came later coastal Kabi associated areas.
It is now known from modern research into localised pioneering records that there were ten different Mary River Valley clans (not tribes) containing many individual family groups who had ten different totemic names and different territories one could not enter without permission. They enjoyed the same basic customs, rituals and so on. What joined them together was one common notable feature - the fact that they all spoke the same ancient language - Kgaw'bpidhal'i: Kgaw'bi: Ka'bi (depending on the European pronunciation). Some modern claimants state the term was Gubbi. This is incorrect the term Gubbi has been identified as being a little known expletive term used by most clans in South East Queensland according to the earliest known language records.
As far as it is known, the only known local pioneer records list the original ten Kabi clans of the Mary River Valley region as the:
From localised records and as far as it is known, all or most of
these clans were basically extinct by c.1885. Those that had survived were elderly and
incapable of childbirth (a list showing the last known member of each clan still
survives). These survivors lived the rest of their lives as servants or
station workers or were transported to Cherbourg. There are no records of any genuine
descendents except for the Kabi Kgaiya of the Widgee and western range
regions. His name was Dhakkanguini (c.1846-1938). He was the last of the clans of
Kgippandingi. The only other known descendents of the Gympie Kabi Kguthari clan
Willie and Emma Dunn died c.1923-25 at Gympie. They left no family.
A sample from the photo gallery:
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