Ngaya bana (My body)

Please scroll down to see videos, posters and Lingo Bingo in Gamilaraay GR and/or Yuwaalaraay YR versions. Our Elders say you are welcome to use any of these resources respectfully.


1. In Australian languages you don’t possess your body parts – they are part of you, i.e. you say ‘I hand’, rather than ‘my hand’:

  • Minya nhalay? – What’s this?
  • Ngaya mara, ngaya buyu - I hand, I leg
  • Nginda mara, nginda buyu – You (1 person) hand, you leg.

2. In Gamilaraay the pronoun usually goes second in a sentence, but with body parts (which have ngaya ‘I’ instead of ngay ‘my’) it goes first, i.e. Ngaya mara.

3. Extra background about some of the words:

  1. mara - hand, finger, five
  2. dhinawan - emu, ‘prominent feet’ (dhina – feet + -wan - prominent)
  3. dhina – foot/feet, footprint, tracks (for animals with feet), toe
  4. gawu - egg, brain; gawugaa - head, hair on head (probably from gawu+-ga ‘where the brain is’)

4. Extra cultural knowledge: The dictionary says, “In most Aboriginal societies the ear is seen as the instrument or seat of intelligence and perception.” In Gamilaraay (bina -> wina): 

  • Winanga-li – hear, listen/Winanga-y – understand, know, remember, think
  • Binaal – well-behaved, well-mannered

4. A website explaining how emotions and body parts are often linked through metaphor in Australian languages is here:


We have resources for three songs here:

Bina Mil

Words in Gamilaraay and English: Words_Bina-Mil_GR-and-English_APRIL2020-(4-verses).pdf 
Backing track: Backing-track_Bina-Mil_(3-verses).mp3
See below for a poster with all the words.

Gamilaraay version
(Roger Knox, 3 verses)

Yuwaalaraay version
(Kelsey Strasek-Barker, 3 verses)

Body song (Marrin Gamu)

The words 'Marrin' and 'Gamu' mean 'body' in the Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Torres Strait) and Wiradjuri (NSW) languages, as the title of a song created by First Languages Australia to translate and perform.

The information is at: The website includes examples, words, backing track, and sheet music

Words in Gamilaraay: Words_Body-Song_GR_30-JULY-23.pdf
For a Gamilaraay example, see Tamworth South Year 3:

Head, shoulders, knees, toes

There are two versions of this poster: V1 uses dhina for 'toes', V2 uses bambugal (used in some areas).

Download A3 pdf Download A3 pdf                   Download A3 pdf
Download A3 pdf

Download the words in Gamilaraay and English (using dhina for 'toes'): 


Download pdf Download pdf

We have updated our two posters, made with pictures of our children from our Gunnedah dhiiyaan (family). They are both downloadable in pdf format for A3 printing.
The first one is with words from the first two verses of the Bina Mil song:

Download pdf file: Download pdf Download pdf

This one has a more complete list:

Download pdf file suitable for A3 printing: Download pdf
Download pdf

In addition, we have worked with the Batchelor Institute to update the Gamilaraay GR and Yuwaalaraay YR language versions of their posters, which can be ordered in different sizes, with/without lamination, etc:


Lingo Bingo

A beginner's set of Lingo Bingo, with photos of body parts from Winanga-Li children.
Download: Lingo-Bingo_Bana-Body_19AUG22.pdf