The traditional indigenous owners of land at the Daintree Rainforest are the Kuku Yalanji people. Their traditional bounds are the area between Mossman and Bloomfield.
The Kuku Yalanji people, are believed to have inhabited the rainforest for more than 9000 years. Anthropological research shows there may have been three or five groups within the tribe, with the groups inhabiting rainforest areas, rivers, coastal frontages, and mountain peaks.
The Kuku Yalanji culture uniquely adapted to the Daintree Rainforest environment. The natural world around the people was understood to be linked closely to themselves – for example if an unseasonable weather pattern emerged this could be seen as a consequence for a human action. The rainforest was often described in human terms. Changes to the environment were interpreted as changes occurring to themselves. The rainforest was the source of all food, shelter, resources and other social structures.Rainforest plants and trees were used to make material goods such as wooden shields and swords to defend themselves against rival tribes, woven baskets for carrying goods, and bark cloth as fish traps.
Traditionally they lived in small kinship groups of 8 to 12 in camps spread along the banks of the rivers and creeks. These camps were semi-permanent as the people lived in temporary dome thatched huts, which could be easily built and then discarded if weather conditions changed. For example, if a sudden downpour of rain threatened to raise river levels and flood a camp, the Kuku Yalanji could gather together their few belongings and move to a more suitable place where a new camp would be built quickly and simply.
Today the Kuku Yalanji culture is alive and well and with progressive approaches to human rights in Australia, the culture can thrive again. On your visit to the Daintree, you can learn more about the Kuku Yalanji, their culture and historical significance, with one of these great guides,
Walkabout Cultural Adventures
Take the time to learn more about the Kuku Yalanji rainforest Aborigines on this small and personalised tour with Juan Walker – its a must do!
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Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours
Local Aborinal guides take tours introducing the cultural ways of the local people. Tours offered are a guided walk along the foreshore and mangroves, collecting native foods
Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walks
Experience the wonders of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and discover pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna. Your experienced Indigenous guide will deomstrate traditional plant use, identify bush soaps and ochre plants.
View the website here