Araluen Cultural Precinct
At the Araluen Cultural Precinct “there are seven registered sacred sites and trees of significance”. At the heart of the precinct, is the Araluen Arts Centre, that is positioned between the two sacred sites — Yaye (meaning Big Sister in Arrernte) which is located directly behind the Araluen Galleries and Sculpture Garden, and Ye (meaning Little Sister in Arrernte) and is located to the west of the Araluen Cultural Precinct in the Frank McEllister Public Park.
These two hills represent the dreaming of the Two Sisters who travelled from the west. The sisters took rest at this site to tell each other stories, whilst keeping an eye out on the old man who was following them. They then continued their travels north along the Todd River.
Both of these two hills are very important to Indigenous cultural traditions and visitors are asked not to climb the hills. The hills can be enjoyed from the comfort of the local Yaye’s Café, the Sculpture Garden and the Park.
Within the Sculpture Garden of the Araluen Arts Centre is the sacred Corkwood Tree that is over 300 years old, and is part of the Two Sisters Dreaming story. The Araluen Arts Centre wraps around the Corkwood Tree on three side, being specifically designed to protect the Corkwood Tree, creating the Sculpture Garden.
This very old corkwood is related to a number of cultural sites within this precinct, which together form part of an Arrernte Aboriginal Women’s dreaming. The Araluen Arts Centre was specifically designed and positioned in order to preserve the tree and the significance it has with the hill behind it, which is a registered Aboriginal sacred site.
The thick bark enables it to survive severe fires and it regenerates by sprouting new leaves straight from the trunk. The corkwood is a prolific nectar provider when it is in flower, and is favoured by many birds, including the honey eater.
Arne Untyeye Ahinpenye
Arne untyeye ahinpenye nhenhe akngerre aneme, kenhe arrpenhe nhenge areye pmere nhenhele arelhe-kenhe Altyerrenge-arle aneke. Kenhe warlpele areyele pmere Araluen renhe mwantyele artemele untyeye ahinpenye renhe ultaketye-arle. Untyeye nhenhe uthene apwerte ingkerne uthene tyerrtye urrperle-kenhe Altyerrenge-arle aneke re-atherre-arle.
Untyeye arntape irrkngele yanhe lyeke-lyeke aneme. Urele untyeye yanhe ampeke-arle iperre arlpelhe akwerrke atherrke-atherrke arrateme. Kenhe ngkwarle untyeyampe renhe akerle nhenge untarne-unarne mape arlpere-anerre-irrerlenge kele imernte iltyeke-arleke lernemele imernte awantyemele ngkwarle renhe. Arretyaletyale areyele ngkwarle arne untyeye antethe-ngentyele arlkweme.Source: Araluen Cultural Precinct – Sculpture Park signage
The corkwood trees are covered in a thick bark that allows them to survive severe fire and can regenerate new sprouts from the trunk. The flowers produces nectar that attracts numerous birds, in particular the honey eaters, who favour the sweet and sticky substance.
Footnote & References
- Sacred Sites, Araluen Arts Centre, https://araluenartscentre.nt.gov.au/sacred-sites
- Central Australian Register, Significant Trees Register, https://wildlife.lowecol.com.au/projects/significant-trees/central-australian-register/
- Central Australian Register, Significant Trees Register – You can download PDF fact sheets on the registered trees and take a ‘virtual’ tour of the register via an interactive Google Map (NT Register of Significant Trees).
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