Kuku Yalanji people are indigenous in Australia, originating from the rainforest regions of Far North Queensland and speaking the language Kuku Yalanji; also spelt Gugu Yalanji and here Guugu Yalandji as variants in English transliteration spellings. Guugu Yalandji language connects together their law, various dialects, clans and many communities. They also constitute one of the "Bama Rainforest Peoples". Kuku Yalanji live in coastal, riverine, and mountainous regions, their clan estates extending from Port Douglas in the south through to Cooktown in the north and to Chillagoe in the west. It is thought that there were three to five clans of Kuku Yalanji in 1770 prior to contact by Europeans, their diseases and colonisation.
Survival was dependent on exploitation of seasonal variation. It is believed that Kuku Yalanji lived in the rainforest region no later than 4,000 years ago. It is known that they had high population density, lived in semi-permanent huts, prepared and ate toxic species from the rainforest and produced and used distinct weaponry such as wooden shields and swords. They existed in a complex and social hunter-gatherer type society. They are defined from other groups by single language.
They saw the landscape as humanised describing it in human terms and recognising spirits within landscape features. They defined seasonal variations into five seasons.
1877 saw contact between European colonists and Kuku Yalanji through the discovery of gold, mineral exploration and the development of a coastal road. Contact between the groups was violent. By 1890, the people were decimated. From 1897 to the 1960s, the Kuku Yalanji like other Aboriginal peoples faced the Government's paternalistic legislation that allowed for Aborigines to be placed under "protection" in attempt to preserve their culture. The Kuku Yalanji began concentrating around the Mossman Reserve around the time of World War II and the people in the Daintree region were forced to the northern bank of the Daintree River. They were further subjected to more relocations by the government.
Additional variants of transliterations into English include Kuku Yulangi and Gugu Yulanji.
- Jessica Mauboy, an Australian R&B and pop recording artist. She has embraced her Aboriginal culture on numerous occasions, starring in the 2012 indigenous hit film The Sapphires and singing multiple songs on the soundtrack, and partaking in the Mbantua Festival.
- Pat O'Shane, a teacher, barrister, public servant, jurist and Aboriginal activist, she was Australia's first Aboriginal magistrate. O'Shane was also the first Aboriginal teacher in Queensland; the first Aboriginal person to earn a law degree; the first Aboriginal barrister; and the first woman and Indigenous person to be the head of a government department in Australia.
- Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc. (Kuku Yalanji of the Mossman Gorge); Fisher, Colin; Ross–Kelly, Bella (1996). Aspects and Images of Kuku Yalanji Life at Mossman Gorge. Assistance: with writing the way told, by Tom Popp and with keeping their way, by Bennett Walker Qld DEH. Mossman, Qld: Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc. pp. 1–32. ISBN 0-646-27739-1. Retrieved 9 Sep 2014.
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Yalanji-Warranga Kaban: Yalanji people of the rainforest fire management book. Cairns, QLD, Australia: Little Ramsay Press. ISBN 0-95809-841-7. Retrieved 18 Apr 2014. Lay summary – ResearchOnline @ James Cook University (2011).
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- "Jessica Mauboy". the Celebrity Bureau. 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Mbantua Festival future dreaming". Alice Springs News Online. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Design Idol & Culture Icon Jessica Mauboy". Future-ish. Keeping tabs on the science, design, and culture shaping our future. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Pat O'Shane". Schools TV. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
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- "O'Shane, Pat". The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia. Australian Women's Archives Project. 2014. ISBN 978-0-7340-4873-8.
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- Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc (2006) webpage: "Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime: The People." Accessed 18 Nov 2013