The Eastern Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owners Group includes three clan groups – Yalanji, Jalunji, and Nyungkul (Willis, Wyles and Richardson, 2021).
Eastern Kuku Yalanji Bubu (country) extends from Mossman Valley in the south to the Upper Annan River and Black Mountain in the north, and west to the top of the Great Dividing Range (Douglas Shire Council). It features a diverse range of ecosystems, including rivers, mountains and coastline (Douglas Shire Council) as well as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and National Park (Willis, Wyles and Richardson, 2021).
The Kuku Yalanji bama (people) have a deep understanding of their land, its seasons, cycles, and ecosystems (Jalunji-Warra People, 2012). They have been managing this land through traditional practices for at least 50,000 years (Diaz, 2021). These practices, and the land itself, hold spiritual significance for all the Kuku Yalanji bama. This knowledge has been passed down from Kuku Yalanji ancestors through Njajakura, their lore or life code (Kaitbal). Traditional land and sea management practices are therefore crucial in keeping the Kuku Yalanji culture strong within the community (Jalunji-Warra People, 2012). This means that living on Country is essential to Kuku Yalanji cultural continuance, with the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation identifying a weakening of their culture and loss of Country as key threats to their goals and values (Jalunji-Warra People, 2012).
Kuku Yalanji Elders play an essential role within the community, as decision makers and maja-maja (bosses) of knowledge (Jalunji-Warra People, 2012). They pass on traditional land care practices and cultural knowledge, (Jalunji-Warra People, 2012) as their ancestors have done for at least 50,000 years of living continuously on Kuku Yalanji Bubu (Diaz, 2021).