Our culture

We, the Aboriginal traditional landowners of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, are Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people. We speak our own language and teach it to our children.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta were created by our creation ancestors. In their travels they left marks in the land and made laws for us to keep and live by.

We hope that during your visit you will learn about us, about some of our ancestors and culture.

  • Tjukurpa - our foundation

    Tjukurpa (pronounced 'chook-orr-pa' in English) is the foundation of our culture. Just as a house needs to stand on strong foundations, so our way of life stands on Tjukurpa.

    • Tjukurpa has many deep, complex meanings.
      Tjukurpa refers to the creation period when ancestral beings created the world. From this came our religious heritage, explaining our existence and guiding our daily life. Like religions anywhere in the world, Tjukurpa provides answers to important questions, the rules for behaviour and for living together.
      It is the law for caring for one another and for the land that supports us. Tjukurpa tells of the relationships between people, plants, animals and the physical features of the land
      Tjukurpa refers to the past, the present and the future at the same time. This knowledge never changes, it always stays the same.

      Find out more on traditional law.

    Read more on Tjukurpa Close
  • Our languages

    We mainly speak Pitjantjatjara (pronounced as pigeon-jarrah) and Yankunytjatjara (pronounced as young-kun-jarrah) - but some of us speak up to six different Aboriginal languages.

    • Try saying hello to us now. We use the word 'palya' for hello. In English it is pronounced similar to pull (like cull-ya).
      If you come to visit us, it is best way to say hello.

      You can try out some more of our language by learning about bush foods, and the plants and animals of the park.

      Find out more about Anangu language.

      Language audio files

      Listen to our language audio files to hear the aboriginal spoken word.

      Palya - Hello (also means goodbye, thank you, finish)
      Wiya - No or don't
      Uwa - Yes
      Nganana - All of us
      Nyuntu anangu maruku ngurangka ngaranyi - Welcome to Anangu land
      Tjukurpa - Creation time
      Talinguru Nyakunytjaku - Place to look from the sand dune
      Tjaka - Just the way it is
      Tjunguringkula Waakaripai - Working together

    Read more on language Close