surname Napangardi
What is the origin and meaning of the surname Napangardi? Is that common or is it fairly rare?
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Australian Aboriginal, the name of a sub-section, or "skin group" of the Warlpiri tribe, so I imagine it will be limited in number and distribution. Napangardi is the female form, for a man it's Japangardi.
A skin group is an exogamous group, i.e. members cannot marry within their own group. They are also restricted as to which other groups of the tribe they can form marriage alliances with.
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Is a skin name for Australian Aborigines equivalent to a surname?
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As far as I can tell most Australian Aborigines have surnames of the dominant culture, i.e., European settlers, usually English speaking. In their traditional way of life there would have been no surnames. The English type surnames they now have would most likely have been imposed on them by teachers, clergy and other authority figures, as part of the now discredited policy of eradicating Aboriginal culture, including language.
Again I'm guessing but I think it likely that most of the Aboriginal surnames in current use have been adopted in recent times as part of a people's attempt to rescue their suppressed identity. The "skin group" name is probably one source of such names, but it's possible that a parent's given name might serve the purpose.
As for learning the meaning of most Aboriginal names we would have to first find out which of several Aboriginal languages they are in. Then, I imagine, spellings will vary as there has not been to my knowledge a standard form of writing.
Perhaps more could be learned of Aboriginal language and culture from Wikipedia.
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Maybe the following file will answer your question.
http://www.theindexer.org/files/cp2.pdf
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Useful and informative. The following quote refers to skin group names in relation to surnames -
'These are not surnames but classificatory names. The
first question asked in a new community is: ‘What is your
“skin” name?’ People are referred to or addressed by their
‘skin’ name. They parallel European surnames and are
usually used in conjunction with European first names and
often with European surnames.'
Also the chapter on "Changing from European to Aboriginal names" on page 4 is worth a glance.
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