Fake tradition
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Australia to ban climbing on Uluru from 2019

Anangu man and chairman of the board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Sammy Wilson, said the Anangu people had felt ‘intimidation’ over the years to keep the climb open because it was a top tourist attraction [but] the group had consistently wanted to close the site, a sacred men’s area, because of its cultural significance.

Source: BBC News, November 2017

“Uluru is a sacred site for Aboriginal Australians”

“Uluru is sacred in our culture”

A sign at the base of Uluru reads:

“Please don’t climb”.
“Uluru is sacred in our culture. It is a place of great knowledge. Under our traditional law[,] climbing is not permitted”.

There are a couple of problems with this claim:

  1. “Uluru is sacred in our culture”.
    The term ‘sacred’ means ‘connected with a god or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration’. What god is Uluru connected to? The people are are allowed to climb are defined by race. Is the Anangu religion defined by chromosomes?
  2. “Under our traditional law climbing is not permitted”.
    The claim that it was ‘sacred’ didn’t exist in 1974 when Erwin Chlanda interviewed Paddy Uluru, custodian of the rock at the time. 

    “Mr Uluru told me if tourists are stupid enough to climb the Rock, they’re welcome to it.

    For him there was nothing of practical value up there such as water, game nor edible plants.

    He made it clear that knowledge of certain elements of the Rock’s dreaming must remain secret, to be known only by a strictly defined circle of people.

    That knowledge would be passed on to outsiders at the pain of serious punishment and perhaps death.

    But the physical act of climbing was of no cultural interest, Mr Uluru told me”.

  3. “It is a place of great knowledge”.
    Paddy Uluru said that “That knowledge would be passed on to outsiders at the pain of serious punishment and perhaps death”.This is totally at odds with the evolution of knowledge in civilisation, where knowledge is shared to advance our common understanding. It is also at odds with the status as a national icon and heritage site. The age of the rock is around 600 million years, yet the Anangu have lived in its vicinity for only 0.04 million years. Allowing the claim of sole ownership and denying access to others is a case of deliberate ignorance by government.

How and when were Uluru and Kata Tjuta formed?

Geological version:

Uluru is an inselberg, or literally ‘island mountain’. An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded. Geologists refer to the rock strata making up Uluru as the Mutitjulu Arkose, and it is one of many sedimentary formations filling the Amadeus Basin.

The Mutitjulu Arkose is believed to be of about the same age as the conglomerate at Kata Tjuta, … originally sand, deposited as part of an extensive alluvial fan that extended out from the ancestors of the Musgrave, Mann and Petermann Ranges to the south and west.

The similar mineral composition of the Mutitjulu Arkose and the granite ranges to the south … were once much larger than the eroded remnants [and] were thrust up during a mountain building episode referred to as the Petermann Orogeny that took place in late Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian times (550–530 Ma).

Source: Wikipedia

According to the Aṉangu, ‘traditional landowners’ of Uluru:

The world was once a featureless place. None of the places we know existed until creator beings, in the forms of people, plants and animals, traveled widely across the land. Then, in a process of creation and destruction, they formed the landscape as we know it today. Aṉangu land is still inhabited by the spirits of dozens of these ancestral creator beings which are referred to as Tjukuritja or Waparitja.

There are a number of differing accounts given, by outsiders, of Aboriginal ancestral stories for the origins of Uluru and its many cracks and fissures. One such account, taken from Robert Layton’s (1989) Uluru: An Aboriginal history of Ayers Rock, reads as follows:

Uluru was built up during the creation period by two boys who played in the mud after rain. When they had finished their game they travelled south to Wiputa … Fighting together, the two boys made their way to the table topped Mount Conner, on top of which their bodies are preserved as boulders.

Norbert Brockman’s (1997) Encyclopedia of Sacred Places gives two other accounts:

The first tells of serpent beings who waged many wars around Uluru, scarring the rock. The second tells of two tribes of ancestral spirits who were invited to a feast, but were distracted by the beautiful Sleepy Lizard Women and did not show up. In response, the angry hosts sang evil into a mud sculpture that came to life as the dingo. There followed a great battle, which ended in the deaths of the leaders of both tribes. The earth itself rose up in grief at the bloodshed, becoming Uluru.

The Commonwealth Department of Environment’s webpage advises:

Many…Tjukurpa such as Kalaya (Emu), Liru (poisonous snake), Lungkata (blue tongue lizard), Luunpa (kingfisher) and Tjintir-tjintirpa (willie wagtail) travel through Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Other Tjukurpa affect only one specific area.

Kuniya, the woma python, lived in the rocks at Uluru where she fought the Liru, the poisonous snake.

Source: Wikipedia

Everybody celebrates nature’s beauty in their own way

AFL identity Sam Newman hitting a golf ball off Uluru.

Indigenous group wants Uluru stripper deported

Alizee Sery says she is aware Uluru is considered sacred and she meant no offence.

The Central Land Council’s director, David Ross, says the woman’s stupidity is indicative of many people who ignore the traditional owners’ request not to climb the rock.

He says the climb should be closed and Prime Minister Julia Gillard to deport the woman.

Source: ABC News

Where is that Multicultural Australia we hear so much about?

A 25-year-old French woman filmed herself stripping atop Uluru to ‘honour’ Aboriginal culture.