What is Uluru?

Western news sources refer to her as an exotic dancer, and the Malaysian Mirror, refers to her as what she is a stripper and a rock dancer, who has reduced nature to stripping on top of the sacred mountain of Uluru. French born Alizee SerAlizee Sery,got more than she bargained for by assuming that her nakedness made her kin with the keepers of the sacred site.

Alison Hunt, traditional owner and member of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of management told NT News (June 2010):

“This is an important spiritual place,”

“It’s not a tribute to the traditional owners, it’s an insult.

“We try to share our land and work together and we think it is disgusting for someone to try and make money out of our sacred land.”

What is Uluru?

Uluru, is the aboriginal name for what has been referred to as Ayers Rock by westerners after a former minister Sir Henry Ayers. It is a magnetic mound of sandstone rock, an isolated mountain, which is located on a grid point in the Northern Territory of central Australia. Sacred to the aborigines Uluru stands at 318 meters high, 8 kilometers wide, and 2.5 kilometers into the ground, once having formed a part of the ocean floor. Depending on the time of day, the color of the mountain can change significantly from yellow, to burnt orange, blue and violet. For the aborigines, Uluru is a part of their Dreaming, the matrix that governs their laws, lores of their communities, and how people are required to interact within their communities, and their environment, as everything in the natural world is a result of the archetype.

Like the natives of the U.S., the natives of Australia were to be contained within reservations. The Northern Territory where Uluru stands was one such reservation between 1918 – 1921 for those who had no contact with European settlers. Once tourists started arriving in 1936 the conditions of the agreement under the Aboriginal Ordinance began to change. By 1985, Uluru was returned to the local Pitjantjatjara aborigines with allowance for joint ownership with the National Parks and Wildlife Agency under a 99 year lease. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke broke the agreement going against the local indigenous communities which asked visitors to respect the sacred status of Uluru by not climbing it. For the local indigenous peoples, there is a route on Uluru which holds great sadness and distress for them.

In the battle to reclaim their heritage, the local Labor government for the province of Victoria at the time, were considering the Jardwadjali clan name, Geriwerd meaning mountain in 1991. In 1992, this name was dropped by the newly elected Liberal government in response to a local petition of 57,000 signatures against the idea. It was with the returning of the land back to the keepers, the Pitjantjatjara aborigines that the name was finally settled to become Uluru-Kata Tjuta from Ayers Rock-Mount Olga.

AmelY, R, & Williams, G. Y “Reclaiming Through Renaming: The Reinstatement of Kaurna Toponyms in Adelaide and the Adelaide Plains. http://epress.anu.edu.au/land_map/pdf/ch18.pdf

Sacred Sites. Uluru http://www.sacredsites.com/oceania/australia/Uluru.html

Sanson, A. Hot Rock Dance Outrage. http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2010/06/28/159461_ntnews.html

• Back to: People of the Dreamtime


3 thoughts on “What is Uluru?

  1. 2ne1 Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. 2ne1 And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that Thanks for lunch!

  2. Long time reader, first time poster! Great post. Appreciate the work thats gone into the site so far, keep it up! 🙂

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