Ganya is extremely important to the Yindjibarndi people, as it contains the first bundut in the Pilbara region. This bundut, or ceremonial ground, is where bidara Law in the Pilbara was created and has been practiced ever since.
The bundut is a smooth circular area on the bedrock by the Fortescue River. It was formed during the creation time known as ngurra nyjunggamu, when the world was soft. Yindjibarndi ancestors performed ceremonies in the soft earth and have continued to do so for thousands of years since. The bundut is surrounded by a smooth, circular channel that was made by women dancing in a circle, while men sang ceremonial songs in the centre. The marks where Yindjibarndi men would sit within the ring are still visible today. The men would beat on the drum, traditionally a hollowed tree or solid bark, ensuring that the women dancing the channel would keep in time and sing the right songs.
The Ganya site also contains various thalu located to the north of the bundut. These thalu produce resources for Yindjibarndi people who know what ceremony to perform at each one. There are numerous thalu throughout Yindjibarndi country which can provide a variety of resources. The moon thalu for example was used to increase the brightness of the moon to ensure good nocturnal hunting light.
Along a ridgeline to the east of the bundut there are engravings with motifs of human and animal figures. These engravings tell stories of Yindjibarndi people and their activities here. Grinding patches also found here suggest the place has been used consistently over thousands of years. These grinding patches were utilised by Yindjibarndi people who were camping at this place and producing flour from seeds, sharpening tools, or preparing ochre for ceremonies.
Join us on a tour of Ganya and the first bundut (ceremonial ground) of the Pilbara, where Yindjibarndi people would travel through, perform ceremonies and camp. Explore ceremonial places created thousands of years ago “when the earth was soft”, places that Yindjibarndi people have used to improve hunting, and ridges where engravings tell the tales of how this place was used. This panoramic tour lets you see Ganya and its important sites from the perspective of being there.