Apical Ancestors

In anthropology, an apical ancestor is a common ancestor from whom a lineage or clan may trace its descent. The word apical is used because this ancestor is at the apex of the genealogy. In the case of clans, this may be a real or fictional ancestor chosen for unification purposes. If the apical ancestor of a clan is non-human, it is a totem.

The real apical ancestors of the Yinhawangka people are:


Minatangunha was born on what became Rocklea Station and passed away at a claypan near the Ashburton River. It is said Minatangunha, with two wives, one of whom is recalled as having been Yinhawangka, had five children:

  1. Mungunirri (male)
  2. Turtja (Cutacross George) (male)
  3. Murthi (female)
  4. A daughter whose name is not recalled
  5. Kutjilyirri (male)


Jarndunha was born, and later buried, at Tjandunguna (Mount Nameless), to the west of Tom Price. She and her Gurruma husband, Windawari, had two children: Thandainha (Minnie) (female) and Tjimpu (male).

Thurantajinha and Wilga

Thurantajinha and Wilga had four children:

  1. Jimuni (male)
  2. Kurtakurta (female)
  3. Kawathingu
  4. Yagi

Nothing further is known about the latter two except that it is claimed that Yagi was sent to Rottnest.

“The tracing of ancestral heritage is both fascinating and potentially frustrating as a path can be determined, but then relies on evidence to provide fact”

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