Kuku Yalanji Country
Kaba Kada, Douglas Shire
Kuku Yalanji Country
The Kuku Yalanji people are the traditional Aboriginal people (bama) of this rainforest area. Their language is a living language and is still spoken by their people today.
The Kuku Yalanji people have a rich cultural identity and strong spiritual connection to the rainforest. Their cultural identity is based on Ngujakura (Dreaming) and is reflected in their living connection to bubu (land) and jalan (sea) and their continued aspiration to conserve and protect country.
For the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people many natural features of the Daintree Coast landscape have spiritual significance including Wundu (Thornton Peak), Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi), Wurrmbu (The Bluff) and Kulki (Cape Tribulation).
A network of Aboriginal walking tracks linked these cultural sites, camping spots and key places for gathering and preparing food. Many of these original walking tracks have become the roads and bush walking tracks we use today.
Understanding of the weather cycles and the combination of vegetation types allows the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people to gather food throughout the year. When jilngan (mat grass) is in flower, it is time to collect jarruka (orange-footed scrubfowl) eggs and when jun jun (blue ginger) is fruiting, it is time to catch diwan (Australian brush-turkey).
Many tree-dwelling animals were also hunted including murral (tree-kangaroos), yawa (possums) and kambi (flying foxes).
The islands, beaches, creek mouths, backing dunes and lowland rainforest of the Daintree area also provided a major focus for camping and other uses for the Kuku Yalanji. Combined with the fringing reef and sea, a diverse range of resources were available to the Yalanji people on a systematic, seasonal and cultural basis.
Reference: A Handbook for Tour Guides Daintree River to Cape Tribulation. Wet Tropics Management Authority and Daintree Gateway Kuku Yalanji.
Kuku Yalanji Language
This video demonstrates some of the sounds and pronunciations of the Kuku Yalanji language.
Thanks to Tahlia Elish for sharing her wonderful video with us! You can subscribe to her Kukubaka YouTube channel here.
A PDF download of a Kuku-Yalanji dictionary can also be downloaded via the button below.
Kuku-Yalanji dictionary source: https://ausil.org.au