Folks bin livin in these parts a while!

The traditional custodians of the land that surrounds Uluru and Kata Tjuta are the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people who like to be referred to as Anangu. They have been living in the area for quite a while now, somewhere around 20,000-40,000 years!! To live in the same place for this long without killing each other you need a pretty good system for living which Anangu call Tjukurpa or, Aboriginal law and religion. It’s a pretty wide ranging concept which covers their law and religion, all the past (the creation period), the present and the future as well as their relationship with the land. It is also how all these things are interrelated.

Past, present and future alive

According to Tjukurpa, the world was originally a barren and featureless place until the Ancestor spirits came to the world in human and other forms and created the features of the land, plants and animals as we know them now. During their travels across the land the spirits also created different relationships between various groups, plants and animals. When their ancestors work was done they transformed into hills, animals, plants, stars, etc, and are as present today as they were in the beginning and into the future.

The great secrets and stories

All the stories are passed down through the generations in the form of art, ceremonies, stories, dance, etc. Some belong to men only and some to women. Around Uluru and Kata Tjuta there are lots of stories, some that can be told and others that remain secret to the relevant groups or members of local Anangu. Around Uluru there are two great walks that tell some of the secrets of Uluru and the ancestor spirits, the Mala walk and the Mutitjulu walk.