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Impact Craters in Aboriginal Dreamings, Part 2: Tnorala

18 Jun 2016, 09:14 UTC
Impact Craters in Aboriginal Dreamings, Part 2: Tnorala
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

By Duane HamacherIn the previous post, I discussed Arrernte oral traditions relating to the Henbury crater field in the Central Desert. As I said, Henbury is not the only impact crater in Arrernte country with an associated Dreaming. Let us now travel 175 km west of Alice Springs, where we see 5 km-wide ring-shaped mountain range that stands 150 metres above the desert, representing the remnant central uplift of an eroded 22 km-wide complex crater (Figure 1). The scientific explanation is that this structure formed from a comet impact some 142.5±0.8 million years ago. The Western Arrente call this place Tnorala and consider it sacred. Arrernte Elder Mavis Malbunka (Figure 2), wife of Herman Malbunka, the Traditional Custodian of Tnorala from Ntaria (Hermannsburg), explains the origin of Tnorala in Arrernte traditions and its importance today:Figure 1: Gosse's Bluff, called Tnorala by the Western Arrernte.In the Dreaming, a group of sky-women danced as stars in the Milky Way. One of the women, who was carrying a baby, grew tired and placed her baby in a wooden basket, called a turna or coolamon. As the women continued dancing, the turna fell and the baby plunged into the earth. The baby struck the ...

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