are an Indigenous Australian tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...
living in the border region of Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...
and New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...
. The name of this tribe is derived from the Bigambul word biga
which translates in English to yes
The Bigambul are also known as: Bigabul, Pikambul, Bigambal, Bigambel, Bee-gum-bul, Bigumble, Pikumbul, Pukumbal, Bigambel, Pikum-bul, Pickum-bul, Begumble, Pickumble, Peekumble, Pickumbil, Wigal-wollumbul and Wee-n gul-lam bul.
The Bigambul people originally inhabited a 26,500 square kilometer area east of Nindigully, Qld., on Weir and Moonie rivers, north to Tara; at Talwood, Qld.; on MacIntyre River from east of Boomi to Texas; at Yetman, Boggabilla, and at Middle Creek, N.S.W. The full extent of this area is shown on maps F4
of the Aboriginal Australia Wall Map.
The Bigambul have a cultural
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...
connection with the Northern Kamilaroi
The Kamilaroi or Gamilaraay are an Indigenous Australian people who are from the area between Tamworth and Goondiwindi, and west to Narrabri, Walgett and Lightning Ridge, in northern New South Wales...
people and these tribes regularly participated in joint ceremonies at Boobera Lagoon
Boobera Lagoon is a permanent water hole approximately 20 kilometers west of Goondiwindi, Australia. It is located at . It lies several kilometres south of the Macintyre River, which forms the border between Queensland and New South Wales, and is just north of the Mungindi - Goondiwindi road...
The Bigambul people actively opposed European colonisation
Colonization occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect", originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the...
of their territory. From the early 1840s they mounted a 14–year guerrilla campaign to expel the settlers. The Bigambul leadership understood the importance of economics in warfare and they specifically targeted horses and cattle rather than just the settlers themselves. The campaign was initially successful with 17 selections being abandoned in Macintyre region in 1843, of which only 13 were re-occupied when Europeans returned 3 years later. The economic war was so successful that it is recorded that one selection was making a loss of £150 per year until 1849. The tide of the campaign turned in 1848 when the Governor set aside £1000 to form the Native Police and appointed Frederick Walker
Frederick Walker property manager, First Commandant of the 'Queensland' Native Police Force and Australian explorer.Walker was born in England and emigrated to Australia as a young man...
to command them. Walker took the battle to the Bigambul, attacking them in their camps with his stated objective being their annihilation. By 1851 the economic war was effectively over, land values in the area doubled and the wages paid by settlers to employees were halved. Most of the work done on selections in the area was performed by Aborigines in return for food rations. By 1854 only 100 of the Bigambul people were left alive.
On 23 February 2001 the Bigambul people lodged a successful native title
Native title is the Australian version of the common law doctrine of aboriginal title.Native title is "the recognition by Australian law that some Indigenous people have rights and interests to their land that come from their traditional laws and customs"...
claim over 24,188 square kilometers of land in South Western Queensland.