In 2023, Cardabia Station, just northeast of Coral Bay hosted the inaugural Jamba Nyinayi Festival as part of the Total Solar Eclipse.

Jamba Nyinayi Festival (JNF) is a unique, local, indigenous arts and cultural showcase owned by the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporations and spearheaded by Traditional Owner Hazel Walgar. Jamba Nyinayi is hosted and held on Baiyungu Country.

Jamba Nyinayi Festival 2023 included a site-specific choreographed drone light show, along with original local indigenous content including music, dance, food and fire. The event was attended by over 1500 people and garnished a huge success.

After the successes of 2023, Jamba Nyinayi Festival will become an annual, multi night cultural festival, which provides an opportunity for the Baiyungu community to invite people of all cultures, races  and nationalities to “come together”, share their stories, experience their land and “sit a while”. The festival also provides capacity building opportunities for the Baiyungu people.

The  aim in 2024, is to create new opportunities and connections by inviting all people interested in authentic experiences, from all communities to ‘come together’. The event’s focus is on delivering intimate and inspirational cultural tourism activities shared by the Baiyungu people, Traditional Owners of the amazing World Heritage Nyniggulu (Ningaloo) region in WA.

2024 will see the new inclusion of on-country camping and experience packages. These two night packages are extremely limited.

Packages and tickets for 2024 will go on sale late January, 2024. To be the first the access these sign up below.

The Story

As told by Cultural Director, Hazel Walgar.

“The coastal people of Nyinggulu, Baiyungu and Yinnigurrura, have deep connection with Wilarra moon. It tells us when it’s the right time for fishing and hunting and it’s a guide for our tides. Jirndal sun is the centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders cultures. Jirndal is the sign of life, death and heat in many Aboriginal traditions. Jirndal sun is Nyanjil woman and Wilarra moon is Ganyara man. The only time they meet is during the solar eclipse, when they make love.

The eclipse represents new stars and new life in the universe – when the Jirndal and the Wilarra meet. It strengthens our connection with the powerful spirit of the universe and makes us feel that Mother Nature is healthy, that the meeting of the new stars from the sun and moon, represents new life ahead for our people.

It is important that traditional owners read astronomy – it guides and tell us what is happening on country.

In Exmouth, Warnangura is known as our emu spirit Dreaming place. Strongly connected to our astronomy the Jirndi Nyunghu Emu is our spiritual God – our creator. The tribes of Nyinggulu belonging to emu spirit Dreaming called Gajalbu malinmayi; our totems, our clan, our language and our identity for where we come from”.

The Baiyungu people

Traditional Owner country extends along the Nyinggulu (Ningaloo)  coast  from north of Carnarvon to Exmouth and inland about 100 – 150 km. A major area of significance for Baiyungu people is Coral Bay and neighbouring Cardabia Station. Cardabia has become the main place where people of Baiyungu heritage gather.

Murlanda, or Maud’s Landing, at Cardabia was one of the main traditional meeting places where people from all neighbouring language groups came together.

Linguistically, Baiyungu is a member of the Ganyara group of languages and is related to Dhalanyji, Burduna, and Binigura. It shares many words and grammatical structures with these other languages, as well as having its own unique characteristics.