Yawuru people have occupied and managed the lands and seas in and around Rubibi (the town of Broome) since the Bugarrigarra (the time before time).
In Yawuru cosmology, the primordial time and its world (bugarrigarra) is still present in its creative force, governing social relations, informing the way one interacts with the maritime and continental landscape within their traditional territory, and securing the well-being (liyan) of the community (ngarrungunil).
This unbroken role as custodian evidenced by Yawuru traditional laws and customs relating to rai, the Yawuru language, the skin section system, kinship, malinyanu laws and customs, traditional stories, bush names, hunting, bush foods, looking after Country, speaking for Country, increase sites and permission requirements. Today the Yawuru people continue to influence the development of Broome and continue to safeguard Yawuru culture, way of life and conserve the environment.
The Yawuru people are the native title holders of approximately 530,000 hectares of traditional Yawuru country.
Nagula (saltwater) is significant to Yawuru people. They are saltwater people. Their territory, much of it of open saltmarsh, encompasses the area from Bangarangara to the yalimban (south) to Wirrjinmirr (Willie Creek) to the guniyan (north), and banu (east) covering the eastern shores of Roebuck Bay, Roebuck Plains and Thangoo pastoral leases extending inland close to Mandikarakapo (Dampier Downs). Their neighbouring tribes were the Jukan to the north, and, running clockwise, the Warrwa northeast, the Nyigina on the eastern hinterland, and on their southern frontier the Karajarri, The border with the latter is marked by an ecological transition from the coastal saltmarsh plains to the dense, sandy pindan scrubland occupied by the Karajarri.