mia mia

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Alternative forms




Borrowed from Kurnai mai-mai[1] or Wathaurong [Term?].



mia mia (plural mia mias)

  1. (Australia) An aboriginal shelter made from bark, a gunya.
    • 1913, William Henry Fitchett, The New World of the South: Australia in the Making, 2006 Elibron Classics, page 391,
      On the point of this “spear” they erected what looked like a mia-mia, a hut made of branches by the blacks ; across the road opposite to it the trunk of a tree was dragged, leaving a narrow track along which the escort must defile.
    • 1914, Baldwin Spencer, Native Tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia, Cambridge University Press, published 2010, page 109:
      Decorated with this mop of hair and the chaplet, the girl was led by her father to the mia-mia and put inside this with the four boys.
    • 1932, W. Ramsay Smith, “The Flood and its Results”, in Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines, Dover, published 2003, page 160:
      Exhausted, he threw himself down at the door of the mia-mia of the emu and lay there as if dead.
    • 1944, H. Lorna Bingham, Tuckonie's Warrior Friend, page 15, column 2:
      "Dan is creeping through the bushes on the other side of the mia-mia."

Usage notes

  • The word gunya is more common in some parts of Australia.
  • The term "mia mia" is already a plural in the local language (where plurality is indicated by repeating the word).




  1. ^ "mia-mia" in Random House Dictionary. Random House, Inc, 2015.