Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this website may contain

the names and images of people who have passed away

Bayungu people gather to rebury ancestral remains.

Ancestral Remains


Since 2001, Wangka Maya has assisted Pilbara language groups to identify and locate ancestral remains in museum collections. The project has involved extensive community consultation and negotiation with museums. Many of the remains are very old, with some identified as ancient. Wangka Maya chairperson Bruce Thomas has acted as senior liaison person and ensured that the transfer of the remains was undertaken with the dignity due to these ancestors. In 2005, 77 sets of remains were returned for reburial in their ancestral homelands in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions.


Negotiations for the reburial of ancestral remains continues with the assistance of the Department of Indigenous Affairs. This will be an ongoing project, as more remains are identified and located.