The history of Uluru and Kata Tjuta
Anangu culture has always existed here. The Central Australian landscape, of which Uluru and Kata Tjuta are an important part, was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings.
Before Anangu ancestors arrived, the world was unformed and featureless. Ancestral beings emerged from this void and journeyed widely, creating all living species and the features of the desert landscape you see today. Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period. Anangu are the direct descendants of these beings and are responsible for the protection and appropriate management of these ancestral lands.
The knowledge necessary to fulfill these responsibilities has been passed down from generation to generation in the form of the Tjukurpa.
Europeans did not come to the western desert area until the 1870's. Until the 1930's Anangu continued to live a traditional nomadic life - travelling in small family groups, hunting and gathering from the land, following and responding to seasonal changes and patterns, looking after the land by burning, looking after water holes, performing ceremonies and teaching knowledge and skills to young people.
video: Joint management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta
video: Working together
Handback festival | 26 October 2010
Tjukurpa munu manta kunpungku kanyintjaku | Keeping culture and country strong together
On 26 October we celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most important milestones in our country's Indigenous history - the handback of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to their Anangu traditional owners.
Back in 1985 hundreds of people witnessed the Governor-General present Anangu with the title deeds to these Australian icons, at a ceremony at the base of Uluru.
This year we are celebrating this milestone with a community festival called Tjukurpa munu manta kunpungku kanyintjaku, Keeping culture and country strong together.
The festival is open to all visitors and locals, and runs from 10am to 8pm on 26 October 2010. It will be held at the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area within Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park. There will be Anangu artists at work, Indigenous bands, inma (traditional dance), lots of food and local arts and crafts.
Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate this historic occasion! For more information call the park's Cultural Centre staff on 08 8956 1100.
- Preserving culture - a world first
- 20th Anniversary "Handback" - a brief background
- World Heritage (PDF - 196 KB)