Cultural Heritage

Working together as a community to establish a solid foundation towards independence,
community wellbeing, and cultural identity now and for future generations.

Cultural Heritage

RRKAC provides cultural heritage services to preserve, protect and promote Robe River Kuruma Country on behalf of the Robe River Kuruma people.

These services include:

  • Conducting surveys to help protect Country and sites
  • Identifying, mapping and protecting sacred sites
  • Delivering cultural awareness training
  • Undertaking projects to capture, transfer and promote traditional knowledge and wisdom
  • Implementing and monitoring activities associated with agreement compliance.

The work undertaken by cultural heritage team, to preserve and protect cultural heritage places includes both the ‘tangible’, such as archaeological sites and the ‘intangible’ such as cultural, spiritual and dreaming places.

The cultural heritage team has also explored opportunities to use traditional knowledge in a manner that both cares for RRK Country and provides a revenue stream for Traditional Owners through the Caring for Country Program. This program has seen RRK people engaged in a range of environmental management services

To assist RRK people to access the important cultural places on their traditional country, including on Yarraloola Station and Yalleen Station, Land Access Protocols have been prepared. A copy of these can be obtained by contacting the RRKAC office and speaking to the Cultural Heritage department.

RRK people seeking to visit a pastoral station must contact the relevant station manager at least 48 hours before the visit.

Yarraloola Station
Ph: 9184 5136

Yalleen Station
Ph: 9184 5140

Kuruma Word Lists

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Kuruma was traditionally not a written language. Over the years, linguists and ethnographers recording the Kuruma language have used a spelling system that shows how words are supposed to sound.

The rules for pronunciation are not always the same as in English, because Kuruma had some sounds that are not used in the English language. This chart shows how letters are supposed to sound in Kuruma .

This sound chart has been taken from the Kurrama : Kurrama – English Dictionary, English – Kurrama Wordlist, Topical Wordlist and Sketch Grammar (2006) compiled by Alan Burgman and published by the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.

Short Vowels:
a – like ‘u’ in but
i – like ‘ i ’ in fin
u – like ‘u’ in pudding
Long Vowels:
aa – like ‘a’ in father
ii – like ‘ i ’ in marine
u u – like ‘u’ in pudding (but longer)

j – like ‘j’ in jetty, but with the middle of the tongue pulled back to the roof of the mouth

k – between the ‘k’ in kite and ‘g’ in goanna

l – like ‘l’ in love

lh – like ‘l’ in love, but with the blade of the tongue against the back of the top front teeth

ly – like ‘ lli ’ in million

m – like ‘m’ in mouse

n – like ‘n’ in night

n g – like ‘ng’ in sing

n h – like ‘n’ in night, but with the blade of the tongue against the back of the top front teeth

n y – like ‘ ny ’ in canyon

r n – like ‘n’ in night, but with the tip of the tongue curled backwards

p – between the ‘p’ in pot and the ‘b’ in box

r – like ‘r’ in rain, but with the tip of the tongue curled backwards

r r – rolling ‘r’ (not used in English, but similar to the ‘ tt ’ in butter when you say it very quickly)

s – like ‘s’ in snake

t – between the ‘t’ in tickle and the ‘d’ in dingo

t h – between ‘t’ and ‘d’, but with the blade of the tongue against the back of the top front teeth

r t – between ‘t’ and ‘d’, but with the tip of the tongue curled backwards

w – like ‘w’ in water (at the beginning of a word, w can be silent when it appears before ‘u’)

y – like ‘y’ in yellow (at the beginning of a word, y can be silent when it appears before ‘ i ’)

Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.