Learning the art of Uluru
Like all living cultures, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yakunytjatjara people have adapted traditional artwork to modern media and methods.
Punu (wood / woodwork) remains an important traditional art for Anangu because of its cultural significance.
Most punu was traditionally carved for practical purposes and was occasionally decorated. It can now be bought commercially at the Cultural Centre featuring many of the intricate Walka (designs) common to those found in caves and on canvases.
The most obvious example of traditional Anangu art at Uluru is found in cave paintings. These are permanent examples of drawings and paintings that have been made in the sand for countless generations, and both continue to be used to communicate culture.
Park staff regularly check and maintain rock art for the benefit of Anangu and visitors.
The Park has put much effort into conserving the art work at Uluru for Anangu to learn from and visitors to see. Tour guides can support this work by ensuring visitors respect the law; staying on marked tracks and not touching artwork.
Tour guides also need to be aware of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights and what this means when dealing with the creative expression of this living culture.
With an increasing understanding of legal rights, Indigenous people are asserting their rights to Indigenous intellectual property.
This expanding area of law affects the reproduction of artwork and artefacts of indigenous culture as well as the retelling of traditional stories.
Tour guides who want to tell the stories of paintings at Uluru are encouraged to attend the Tour Operator Workshop to learn more.
The additional readings in the right-hand column are for those who would like to know more about this topic.