Site NameGan Gan (1)
Aboriginal Place NameGangan
Language GroupYolngu – Dhalwangu and Gumatj people
Present State/TerritoryNT
Colony/State/Territory at the timeNT
Police DistrictDarwin
Latitude-13.046
Longitude135.944
DateBetween 1 Jan 1911 and 31 Dec 1913
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim Descriptions
Victims Killed30
Victims Killed NotesMore than 30 men, women and children.
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsMounted Police
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedFirearm(s)
NarrativeSee also Gan Gan #2. A police tracker's female relative (from the Roper River region) happened upon a men's ceremony and was killed. This was a reprisal by police after the tracker told police where the Yolngu people were. Two survived. Galarrwuy Yunupingu said: "At Gan Gan these men on horseback performed their duties and killed an entire clan group – men, women and children. They shot them out and killed them in any way they could so that they could take the land. These men on horseback then rode to Birany Birany and killed many of our Yarrwidi Gumatj, the saltwater people who cared for the great ceremonies at Birany Birany. There are few places in our lives as sacred as Gan Gan – from its fresh waters all things come – and Birany Birany."
SourcesYunupingu, G July 2016; NAA, Uncommon Lives, Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda ; Warren Snowdon MHR, 2016 ; Gumana, B biography (); Rothwell, N 2007. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***