Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tjukurpa panya tjamulu, kamilu, mamalu, ngunytjulu nganana ungu, ku runpangka munu katangka kanyintjaku' - Pitjantjatjara

IMG_9988 Uluru Dreaming 2012, a photo by Images @ Melonpopzdropz on Flickr.

IMG_9988 Uluru Dreaming 2012 by Images @ Melonpopzdropz
Have you ever felt walked all over or used.and not cared about?  I suppose this is how Uluru feels when people who enter the hallowed invisible lines and trespass on into spiritual and sacred spaces.  I don't understand it when people don't heed the warnings.  The curse that seems to befall some who climb the rock is very real.  More so it is real for the ones who secretly take  a piece of Uluru home with them in their luggage.
At the cultural centre located at the rock is a book called simply. "The Sorry Book".  This has been reprinted again now as still letters flow in from everywhere across the world.   Together  with the letter accompanies small pebbles or dirt or a piece of the rock itself in a desperate attempt to return Uluru and to have what ever has been happening to these folk and or their families all back home cease.  At Kata Juta National Park this returns policy is taken very seriously and the parts mailed back to the rock are replaced back to where they came from originally.

The Anangu people have Tjukurpa.  This is a spiritual link that flows through everything.  Every grain of sand has Tjukurpa.  Tjukurpa is everywhere and everything.

'Tjukurpa panya tjamulu, kamilu, mamalu, ngunytjulu nganana ungu, ku runpangka munu katangka kanyintjaku' - Pitjantjatjara
'This Law was given to us by our grandfathers and grandmothers, our fathers and mothers, to hold onto in our heads and in our hearts.'

What is Tjukurpa?

Tjukurpa is the foundation of Anangu life and society. Tjukurpa refers to the creation period when ancestral beings, Tjukaritja, created the world as we know it, and from this the religion, Law and moral systems. 'Dreamtime' or 'Dreaming' is often used to describe the way we and other Indigenous Australians see our origins. This translation suggests the beliefs are unreal. Tjukurpa is no dream, and there is no such word as 'Dreamtime' in Anangu languages.

The creation period

Prior to creation the world was featureless and none of the places existed until our Tjukurpa ancestors, in the form of people, plants and animals, traveled widely across the land. The adventures and battles of the ancestors formed the world as we know it today. Our land is inhabited by dozens of ancestral beings. Their journeys and activities are recorded at sites linked by iwara (paths or tracks) and iwara link places that are sometimes hundreds of kilometres outside the park and beyond Pitjantjatjara country.
The Mala Tjukurpa, for example, involves three groups of mala (rufous hare-wallaby people) who travel from the north to reach Uluru. Two groups then fled south and southeast to sites in South Australia. Kuniya Tjukurpa involves the travels of the woma python from the east. Many other Tjukurpa such as kalaya (emu), liru (poisonous snake), lungkata (blue tongue lizard), luunpa (kingfisher) and tjintirtjintirpa (willie wagtail) travel through the park.


Anangu land is mapped through the events of Tjukurpa and is therefore full of meaning. Tjukurpa is the basis of all Anangu knowledge. Where you are born, where you live and where you die are of great significance to Anangu. When Anangu travel across the land we do so with the knowledge of the ancestral beings. Knowledge of the land, and the behaviour and distribution of plants and animals is based on knowledge of Tjukurpa.  Anangu recount, maintain and pass on this knowledge through ceremony, song, dance and art.

Passing on Tjukurpa

Tjukurpa is not written down, but memorised. It is a cultural obligation to pass on this knowledge to the right people. Ceremonies play an important role in the passing on of knowledge. Specific people or groups in the kinship system have responsibilities to maintain different sections or 'chapters' of Tjukurpa. These chapters may relate to a specific site, or a section of an iwara (ancestral path) and this knowledge is carefully passed on to people who have inherited the right to that knowledge either through their birthplace, or through having earned the right by progressive attendance at ceremonies.
Tjukurpa is taught and remembered through specific verses of inma (songs), site related stories, ritual dances or rock art.

0084 - Nana
Nana doin Inma
The iwara (ancestral paths) are recalled in long sequential lists of sites, sometimes including sites beyond country which have been visited, and including sites belonging to other people. Tjukurpa may also be recorded in physical forms such as ritual objects and some objects are created for a specific ritual and then destroyed, others are very old and passed on from one generation to the next. These objects are extremely important, and knowledge of their form and existence is highly restricted. They are not discussed in front of children and may be specifically restricted to men or women.
Tjukurpa is also recorded in various designs and paintings, such as the 'dot' paintings of the Western Desert Region. Designs are often sacred and their use may be restricted to specific groups or individuals. Some sounds are associated with particular Tjukurpa, for example the sound of the bullroarer is associated with sacred men's ceremonies. It is for this reason that Anangu don't want bullroarer objects sold to tourists. Tjukurpa is extremely important to Anangu and learning deeper levels of knowledge means a deeper level of cultural responsibility. Therefore some Tjukurpa information is restricted to certain authorised individuals.
Law
Tjukurpa establishes the rules we use to govern society and manage the land. It dictates correct procedures for dealing with problems, and penalties for breaking the Law. The proper way of doing things is the way things are done in Tjukurpa. Since the coming of non-Aboriginal people,  some of the penalties under traditional Law  have had to be modified. They have also adapted non-Aboriginal law to help enforce Tjukurpa. Sacred sites are protected under Commonwealth and Northern Territory legislation and hunting and foraging rights are protected under the legislation and lease agreement with Parks Australia. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Plan of Management protects Tjukurpa by using it as a guide for making management and policy decisions.
So now you should have a total working knowledge of what Tjukurpa is. ( pron. CHOOK ER PAH)  The coming of the white man to their country must have shocked the veritable socks from these people who had never seen anyone with skin that colour.  Tjurkurpa is now modified to be able to include the white fellah influence all around and it is wonderful the the Commonwealth has the respect enough for these people to use the Tjukurpa in management decisions affecting the running of the Kata Juta National Park areas in both areas ( Uluru and the Olga's)
 http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications/uluru/pubs/pn-tjukurpa.pdf

Image by Mezza -   Image one ....Many people ignoring Tjukurpa and decimating  sacred law. (rock)
                             Image two... Nana dancing at the Maraku Arts Centre at Uluru Resort area.
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Mezza Specs.

My photo
I was in the war zone of life. Photography helps me see the beauty again and from every perspective possible. Writing helps me get whats inside outside. I am aware I am awake and I know I must not get so low that I can't see the beauty in the bricks life throws at me. I used to meditate with the sun each dawn as often as possible for my health. Those days are over now as I have taken the sun and its energy into me and its time to give it back out now to others in healing and Love, when and where and however I can. I seek a freedom from the pain of life. I work hard to stay on top of this daily and taking images of nature is one of the best ways to stay so in touch with the intricacies of what life can manifest if you let it happen.