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Selections A very brief history of the Jugun people and their country

Latest update:
12th March 2006

The Jugun people belong to the country that is now occupied by the town of Broome, Western Australia.

Jugun country wraps around the northern side of Roebuck Bay. This was one of the first areas where pearling boats, moving up from the Pilbara coast in the late 1870s and early 1880s, began to set up camps. Consequently the Jugun were among the earliest of the Kimberley peoples to begin loosing their country and to experience permanent contact with white men.

The immediate neighbours of the Jugun are the Yawaru people. Some people consider that the Jugun are a group within the Yawaru, although family members living in Broome today maintain their separate Jugun identity. Among other things they point to anthropological studies since the early 1900s that have identified their country, the best-known probably being Tindale.

The anthropologist Norman Tindale described the Jugun lands in the 1930s as follows:

Northern side of Roebuck Bay and coast north to Willie Creek, inland for about 15 miles (25 km.). Some informants preferred the term Tjunung. This tribe virtually is extinct. Area about 1000km2.

The word 'Jugun' has several spellings, including Tjugun, Tjukun, Djukun, Tjugan, Djukan, Jukan, Tjunung, Kularrabulu, Jukannganga (i.e., Jukan speech).

More information will be added to this page as it becomes available.