Getting to Know the Kuku Yalanji People

Getting to Know the Kuku Yalanji People

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/13/2017

Reading time: 2 mins

The Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest promises visitors not only an exceptional landscape of lush scenery. Here you can learn about the worlds longest continuing culture in the world. Learn about local Indigenous culture and the history of this land.

While in the region, you can hear from the Kuku Yalanji people about the history that imbues the Gorge and its surroundings.

The Kuku Yalanji People

The Kukuk Yalangi people are the traditional owners of the rainforests in the lush north of Queensland. Here, they have been living in harmony with the environment for more than 50,000 years.

Some tribes of the Kuku Yalanji people spread as far as Port Douglas, Cooktown, and Chillagoe. For the most part however they are concentrated around the Mossman River and Gorge.

Nature is a hugely important part of the Kuku Yalanji culture. They have intimate knowledge of its cycles that has passed down generations. They are often known as the “rainforest people” because of their close affinity with nature and their surrounding scenery.

The Kuku Yalanji people have been sharing their knowledge of Mossman Gorge officially since 1986. Now, there is an eco-tourism centre at the Gorge that gives visitors the chance to learn more about the rich cultural history of the Kuku Yalanji people and their connection with the environment.

Dreaming Stories

Dreaming stories are a rich part of Indigenous culture, and Kukuk Yalangi society is based on them. One of the most popular narratives follows the backdrop of the Gorge – Manjal Dimbi. This is an impressive mountain whose name, when translated, means “mountain holding back”.

According to some Dreaminig stories the large humanoid rock of Manjal Dimbi represents Kubirri. They helped the Kuku Yalanji people when they fell afoul of the evil spirit, Wurrumbu. Kubirri held back the evil spirit, who now sits in The Bluff above the Mossman River.

A visit to the Daintree Rainforest and the Mossman Gorge isn’t just an opportunity to experience some of Australia’s most mesmerising natural scenery, but it also gives you the chance to learn more about the Kuku Yalanji people and their fascinating history and contribution to Australian heritage.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.