Do Aboriginals own Uluru?

Do Aboriginals own Uluru?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/01/2021

Reading time: 3 mins

Australia has a long and fascinating history, being home to one of the oldest cultivations in existence.

The Aboriginal people of Australia are over 60,000 years old, with a rich and diverse cultural heritage that has spread out across the land. Prior to European invasion, there were more than 250 Aboriginal languages spoken across the continent, and up to 500 different clan groups scattered about the beaches, rainforests, and desert lands. One of the most significant clans were the Anangu People, whose homeland contained Uluru and several other iconic tourist attractions.

The History of the Anangu People

Aboriginal People in Uluru

The Indigenous people known as the Anangu tribe have been living on and cultivating this stretch of the region for thousands of years. Hundreds of generations working together to form a vibrant culture and lifestyle in the red sand and jagged rock formations. Their long history and rich culture, the Anangu culture has been a vital part of Central Australian life for centuries. The community holds hundreds of Dreamtime stories on how the landscape was formed, customs to honour their ancestral beings, as well as many beliefs and traditions that are strongly linked to the land they live on.

Their connection to Uluru

Uluru is one of the most important natural landmarks in the entire region owned by the Anangu People. Back when the Europeans invaded the land, the landmark was stolen from them and used for years as a popular tourist site. Although it still is one of Australia’s main appealing attractions, the government of Australian handed over Uluru in 1985 as a symbolic highpoint for land rights.

Their Dreamtime Story

Like many of the natural attractions in their land, the Anangu people have a Dreamtime story on how Uluru formed. Being shaped and moulded by 10 ancestral beings, with each feature of the rock carved by a certain ancestral spirit. The southern side of Uluru was formed from the war between the poisonous and carpet snakes, whereas the north-west side was created by Mala, the hare wallaby peoples. Many other aspects of the rock can be explained by the local community, with the Dreamtime story’s letting you have a greater understanding of the importance of Uluru.

It is a Sacred Site

For the traditional owners of Uluru, it is not just a rock, but a living, breathing, cultural site. Known for being the resting place for the past ancient spirits of the region. It is like a church to the Anangu people, with visitors coming to pay their respects and feeling the strong link between the land and animals with their ancestors.

The Traditional Customs at Uluru

Due to Uluru being a sacred site, many of the traditional customs still done in the Anangu community takes place here. These customs have been passed down from generation to generation, with the traditions and rituals being an important part of the community. Bringing the ancient laws of the land and traditions to the modern world peacefully.

Related article: The Significance of Uluru to Australian Indigenous Culture

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.