Seeing country Anangu way
"The clothes change, but the Tjukurpa doesn't" - Rita Jingo
Knowing something of the way Anangu understand, use and manage the country will assist guides as interpreters of Uluru.
Visitors travel the world looking for authentic experiences, and the continued cultural practices that maintain Central Australia’s unique flora and fauna is such an experience.
Many visitors are surprised to learn that the land around Uluru has been actively managed by Anangu since the time when the Tjukuritja created the landscape.
The Traditional Owners of Uluru–Kata Tjuta manage land in ways taught by Tjukurpa.
Travelling through the countryside and getting to know Anangu, those with an awareness of Tjukurpa will start to see the land as a living cultural landscape. By learning about how the land is understood and managed in ways taught by Tjukurpa, visitors can appreciate the significance of the landscape and its use and management which binds Anangu, the Tjukuritja and Iwara to the landscape of the present day.
One of the key land management tools, which is still used by Anangu today, is fire. In this topic we will look at managing cultural property, the use of fire and a program to pass on Tjukurpa knowledge to young Anangu.
When doing further reading about this topic, guides should be aware that Tjukurpa continues to be passed on from Anangu grandfathers and grandmothers to their grandsons and granddaughters.
So, while the tools might change, the relationship which Anangu have to the land does not change. For example, Anangu do not necessarily carry fire sticks when applying traditional methods and knowledge to burn. However, the traditional knowledge applied is passed from generation to generation, explaining how and where to light fires and how the plants and animals will respond.
In this way, Anangu culture remains strong and continues to be passed on in ways required by Tjukurpa.
Guides who understand this cultural relationship to the landscape will be able to offer their visitors an authentic insight into Uluru as the living cultural landscape it is.
The additional readings in the right-hand column are for those who would like to know more about this topic.