17 April 2011


The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) is the development arm and trustee of lands of the Yindjibarndi nation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia

Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation (JGAC) is the cultural recording, archiving and media production organization of the Yindjibarndi People. http://www.juluwarlu.com.au/archive

We are united in celebrating our culture, supporting our people, and fighting for respect and justice amidst the relentless incursion of iron ore mining into our lands - especially, in these times, the aggressive, divide and conquer assault of Fortescue Metals Group (FMG).


(Yindjibarndi people are from the Fortescue River valley and Hamersley Ranges region of the Pilbara, WesternAustralia.) Ceremony, kinship and Tribal Law are the heart and soul of our life – they connect us to the beginning of the world. In our Law it is said that in the beginning the sky was very low. When the creation spirits got up from the ground, they lifted the sky and the world out of the sea. The creation spirits are called Marrga. They still live in the rocky mountains and gullies. In the early morning the mist over the water is smoke from their breakfast fires. If Marrga are not approached and spoken to in the proper way, they might hurt visitors or make them sick. It was the Marrga and Minkala (Skygod) that named and shaped the country, then all the birds and animals, and finally the Ngardangali (Aboriginal people) came from the Marrga themselves. In other places they call this the ‘dreaming’, but here we call it Ngurra Nyujunggamu – ‘when the world was soft’.

There are places all along the river that show the Marrga’s work. At Ganyiyana (on a part of the river called Birlinbirlin) there is a circular track that was worn into the soft world by the Marrga women as they danced around the men who sang the very first Law ceremony. Later the world became hard, leaving the path of their dance in the river bedrock for all time. We call our Law Birdarra, and this song and dance ring the Burndud – the very first Law ground.
After creation, this law was carried to many tribes in the north and east, where it was given new names and new life in the languages of all the nations where it found a home. Tribes all over the North-west still pay respect to our holy land whose Law travelled thousands of miles across the desert to reach as far as Uluru in the Northern Territory.

Yindjibarndi are like the river
that runs through our Ngurra
very old and very strong
holding powerful law
that forever brings new life
to Yindjibarndi country

Yindjibarndi will survive
because our hearts and conscience
are straight with our country

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