9 Spectacular Photos Of Uluru And Its Traditional Custodians

    The Anangu people celebrate the return of their most sacred landmark.

    People have gathered at Uluru to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park title being handed to its rightful owners.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    The Anangu have been traditional custodians of the rock for thousands of years and the hand back was the result of a promise by the Hawke government to return Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta to the rightful owners.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    The handover took place on October 26, 1985 when the governor general handed the land title over to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people, known as the Anangu.

    Hundreds watched the Anangu people perform a traditional inma (ceremony).

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    The inma is the foundation of Anangu culture and it represents the stories, the symbols and the history of the tjukurpa (ancestral law) .

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    The inma is only ever performed at very special events and occasions and the ochre painted on the dancers bodies have been used by the Anangu for thousands of years.

    Uluru is a deeply sacred and spiritual place for the Anangu.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    In Anangu culture, Uluru was formed by ancestral beings during the tjukurpa period. Rituals and ceremonies are still performed in the caves around Uluru and rock art on the walls dates back to more than 5000 years.

    Anangu life revolves around the tjukurpa, the period in which the world was formed. The tjukurpa is the basis of all Anangu knowledge and connects everything in life.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    At Uluru the three important ancestors are the Mala, (wallaby), Kuniya (python) and the Liru (snake) who are closely linked with the giant sandstone rock.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    Uluru is over 600 million years old and originally sat at the bottom of the sea.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

    Today the rock stands 348 metres above ground with two and a half kilometres of it underground.

    After being handed back in 1985 the land was immediately leased to the federal government on a 99-year agreement. Today the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is co-managed by the Anangu and the government.

    Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

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    Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

    Contact Allan Clarke at arielle.benedek+AC@buzzfeed.com.

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