and sites: distant peaks and monoliths
father (Jonathon), his father's father (Nguaperaka) and Nguaperaka's
father (Wotta) all belonged to the same patrilineal clan estate
in the northwest of Western Arrernte country. This country included such
sacred sites as Ulaterka (Green Caterpillar Dreaming) and Lukaria
(Honey Ant Dreaming), as well as Mount Sonder Rutjipma, the subject
of many well-known paintings by Albert Namatjira.
was passed on through the male line. In the 1950s, Namatjira spoke of
the country to the north of Glen Helen as his father's country. Much of
this country is now also well known as tourist destinations.
Discrete peaks rising
from a flat plain hold a particular appeal for the tourist: they function
as goal posts for the journey, elements to be explored and experienced.
For the traditional owners, however, they hold spiritual meaning. As with
many locations in central Australia, peaks like Mount Sonder are therefore
well documented as both 'sights' and 'sites'.
as discrete entities also held a fascination for Namatjira. Much like
humans, large mountains or smaller scale monoliths might take on an identity
in a way that is not possible for undulating tracts of country and flat
plains, whose anonymity is sustained by the monotony of their uninterrupted
expanse and ill-defined borders.