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.
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.
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.
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