The Art and Culture of the Anangu People

The Anangu People live in the areas surrounding Uluru, Australia’s most iconic landmark. They harbour one of the oldest living cultures in the world which dates back thousands of years, and continue to preserve age-old traditions and heritage in the present day. A visit to Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and the other landmarks in this region will give you an insight into the importance of the Anangu people and their thoughts and beliefs on the landscape around them.

The Culture of the Anangu People

For the Anangu people, life revolves around the Tjurkurpa, which refers to the period in time when the world was just being formed. Because of this, life and new birth is extremely important to the tribe, and the hare wallaby, woma python, and the poisonous snake, Liru, are held in high esteem in the region.

The culture of the Anangu people is heavily dominated by stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. Stories that involve the travels of the Woma Python from hundreds of miles away, as well as other notable creatures from the region. Rituals and ceremonies form a large part of life for the Anangu people, because they are the perfect vessels for recounting traditional stories and keeping ancient narratives alive in the present day.

Art of the Anangu People

All around Uluru and Kata Tjuta there are jutting red rocks etched with centuries-old carvings. Though these date back thousands of years, rock art and paintings still form an important part of the Anangu culture. They are predominantly created for educational and ceremonial purposes and for passing stories down to the younger generation. There are numerous rock shelters surrounding Uluru that offer visitors a glimpse of Anangu artwork, talinguru-men-dancersmany of which are created by mixing water, natural mineral substances, and animal fat to produce bright oranges, reds, and yellows. If you want to learn more about the artwork of the Anangu people, you can head to the art markets in the Town Square and check out the cultural centre in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Language of the Anangu People

Before the Europeans came over to Australia and colonised the country, the indigenous tribes were thought to have spoken around 700 different dialects. Many of these are now extinct, but the Anangu tribe still speak Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the local languages. However, there are some members of the tribe that can speak up to six different Aboriginal languages.