Meaning of maban in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmɑːban/

nounplural noun maban, plural noun mabans

  • An Aboriginal healer believed to have spiritual powers.

    ‘if the cause is believed to be supernatural, assistance is sought from a maban’
    • ‘sorcery was still practised by maban well into the 1930s’
    • ‘In his mid-80s, he was a stockman, jailbird, cartographer and maban—a tribal honorific meaning with tribal access rights to huge acres of Western Australian bush territory.’
    • ‘The scene tells of a maban.’
    • ‘The problem discussed in the story relates to the different speed at which each character moves—the wife too slowly, the maban too quickly.’
    • ‘A shaman from the Western Kimberley is a maban, and is able to see into the world of the spirit beings and draw on some of their energies.’
    • ‘A Maban of great and evil reputation they had brought from the south.’
    • ‘A maban and two young men are living in an outcamp.’
    • ‘The "power in the belly" enables the maban to turn the forces of an oppressive culture to his own advantage.’
    • ‘He has the status of Maban, which endows him with secret knowledge.’
    • ‘The Mabans sometimes interfered for their own ends.’
    • ‘The Maban in his stories always work for the good of the people.’


Early 20th century probably from an Aboriginal language of the Pilbara region.