our tour began at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Uluru, where we had free time to explore the dream time stories [and of course buy trinkets].. then we were off to visit caves .. [some of which I could not take photos, due to them being Sacred sites for women's business - I did learn that this is where the women went to give birth and teach other women about health and such]... wise women sitting around sharing wisdom.. how I wish it were like that for us..
our very own Standing Stones - created by Mother Earth herself - part of the Uluru walk.
and then to caves where the ancestors had taught the children to paint..
these circles are found the world over.. to the aboriginal people they mean many things depending on what symbols they are put with.. here we have a chain of circles connected by two lines - our guide, Happy, told us that this meant that her ancestors walked from waterhole to waterhole..
Happy wandered around barefoot, not flinching at all when she stepped on rocks and rubble.. she is carrying a herb - much like tobacco - that they chew and place between the lip and teeth when they are walking.. it helps to prevent thirst while they are walking long distance.. numbs the mouth & produces alot of saliva.
we then sat in circle while Happy and the interpreter taught us of bush foods.. many little bowls [piti] were passed round.. full of quandong, wattle and grass seeds.. all used in traditional aboriginal food
our Anangu guide, Happy, sat with her partner and told stories through an interpreter about bush tucker.
from my journal: I felt as if I were in the presence of a Goddess - tears came to my eyes. I felt honoured to be there. How I wish I could feel a connection like these people did. so wise, so connected
the aboriginal people really do not like having their photos taken - Happy was very obliging.. she told us that if she allowed us to take her photo, then we must give something in return.. she wants us to send photos of her back to Uluru so that she can show her grandchildren
before I went to Uluru, I was determined to climb the rock. to the summit. Until I met the aboriginal people and listened to their story. And once I saw the climb, I realized that I couldn't do it physically or mentally... so I walked around it [story to come soon] ~ the aboriginal women would climb the rock after rain for water. it was their work to collect it and bring it down in bowls [pita]
as well as the sacredness of Uluru, the aboriginal people get very sad when someone dies attempting to climb. they believe that a person must die in their own country [and to aboriginal people, country is the place where you were born..] The name they gave these people who climb the rock is 'MINGA' meaning little ants, not worth worrying about, insignificant. ~ that is what we were told on the tour.
[all photos are taken at the base of Uluru.. click on them to enlarge]
NEXT ~ walking Uluru