The little men are guardian angels to the Bunuba people from the Fitzroy Crossing area. They were there from the beginning, and they look after us when from the time we are born from our mother. They are small but very powerful beings that have been around since the dreamtime.
Most Elders and those that are connected to Lore and Culture see them. Others don’t but they are there. Sometimes when visitors come to country, they can appear at night to give them a warning to keep them safe on country and to help them respect country and our sacred sites.
Only reason I know this is my Grandfather told me, he was the last leader of my people who use to communicate directly with them. Also, my Uncle who has been doing tour business for a long time knows about them.
Every time we take tourist out on country, surprisingly tourists mention their encounter with them at night. They are not there to harm them but to protect them and help them to show respect to the land.
These beings were also there when Jandamarra, our warrior, had a battle with the police and the settlers in the late 1800’s. The story that was passed down to me was that when he was badly wounded these little men were there with him in spirit and protecting him. They carried him through guiding him and I believe they helped him survive the bad wounds that he had.
My people still believe that these little men gave him the wisdom and the guidance and the spiritual powers to make Jandamarra invincible. He was no ordinary person, he could change himself into the form of animals and he could just disappear and steal ammunition from the police troopers that came to track him down.
The Rayi continues to do what they did for Jandamarra for the Bunuba people today, protecting them and looking after them. They still live on our country.
There was an extraordinary event that happened when my Grandfather passed away back in 2001. A relative was on our tribal home, which is based 2.5 hours east of Fitzroy Crossing, he told us that there were echoes of crying when my Grandfather passed.
The Rayi was really close to my Grandfather, they are the reason why we have songs that cover all parts of Bunuba country as they came to my Grandfather in his dreams to show all the sacred sites on our country.