Australian Aboriginal Tales of the Dreaming…
This Stone is mentioned in the legends of the Arunta Tribe
associated with the Country around Alice Springs. It is –
“Gnoilya (Wild Dog) Tmerga:
This stone is associated with a great, white, Dog Man who came from Latrika (away to the west) and wanted to kill the Dog Men at Choritja (Stuart or Alice Springs).
When they saw him, the local Gnoilya (Wild Dog) men sang out;
Wunna Mbainda Erinna, Numma – see, this is your camp, sit down.
So he sat down quietly and remained there, the stone arising to mark the spot.
If the stone is rubbed by old men, all the camp dogs begin to growl and grow fierce.
The last man to rub it was one of the old inkatas (headmen) who did so soon after the white men came, in order to try to make the dogs bite them.”
“The Arunta”, Volume 1 by Sir Baldwin Spencer an F.J. Gillen
The Dingo Dreaming crosses the land out of the Simpson Desert to Heavitree Gap (Ntaripe), before heading on to Mount Gillen. The Mount is the nose and beneath it is an actual old dingo’s den-site. The dingo then returns north-east via a line of white quartz to the dingo bitch’s den-site and finally to Dog Rock in what is now Alice Springs.
The Dingo Dreaming coming out of the Simpson Desert to Heavitree Gap before trotting on to Mount Gillen, the Mount being his nose beneath which is an actual old dingo’s den-site, then returning north-east via a line of white quartz to the dingo bitch’s den-site and finally to “Dog Rock” in town. The dogs are said to guard both Heavitree Gap, south of Alice Springs and the western side.
Akngwelye (Mount Gillen) is the local dog who stands sentry over Mparntwe.
Ayeye Akngwelye Mpartnwe-arenye
– the Wild Dog Story of Alice Springs
An article in the Alice Springs News by Kieran Finnane (9 July 2016), celebrating NAIDOC has Apmereke-artweye (custodian) Doris Stuart yesterday shared Ayeye Akngwelye Mpartnwe-arenye – the Wild Dog Story of Alice Spring… following extract
We heard how long ago, “at the beginning of time”, Akngwelye, the local dog, lived here happily with his family – “caring for each other and playing in their desert home” – until a stranger dog came from the south. Climbing Alhekulyele – Mount Gillen, the peak of the range that towers over the town – the stranger came across a girl dog in a cave. He attacked her and left her to die.NAIDOC celebrates the Wild Dog Story of Alice Springs, By Kieran Finnane, 9 July 2016
He picked up the scent of Akngwelye’s mate and puppies and was coming for them when Akngwelye confronted him down on the dusty plain. They fought. Akngwelye ripped the stranger’s belly open, and left his guts on the ground. You can see this trace of their battle in the site known as Yarrentye on the west side of town.
Neither dog died. The stranger, hurt and scared, went back through the Gap (Ntaripe) and fell asleep in the fork of a tree. Akngwelye limped to the shelter of a tree from where he had a clear view of his country and lay down, keeping watch.
He never made it back to his mate and her puppies, metamorphosing into a boulder embedded in the ground, where he is still, guarding his Country. This is the site known as Akngwelye Thirrewe. Today it is “chained, confined and surrounded by concrete”.
A Dingo Burial From The Arnhem Land Plateau
In the article there is discussion of a skeleton of a mature dingo that was found wrapped in paperbark and cached on a ledge in a rockshelter on the Arnhem Land plateau. Radiocarbon dating, place the death and burial betwen AD 1680 and AD 1930.
Images © Ausemade PL
Check out our Fauna section for information on the Dingo.
Footnote & References
- NAIDOC celebrates the Wild Dog Story of Alice Springs, By Kieran Finnane, 9 July 2016
- A Dingo Burial From The Arnhem Land Plateau, R.G. Gunn, R.L. Whear and L.C. Douglas, Australian Archaeology, Number 71, December 2010
- Cultural Values Associated with Alice Springs Water by Dick Kimber, ISBN 978-1-921937-28-6