Photographer's Note

Close-up on Ayers Rock's world.

Rising 1,100 feet above the Australian desert, the red sandstone monolith known as Uluru is an international tourist destination.

For some people, Uluru is a symbol of Aboriginal cultures and their struggle for land rights, and a model for collaborative indigenous-governmental land management. Uluru and its neighbor Kata Tjuta, a series of 36 rock domes, comprise an area of spiritual significance to Anangu, the local Aboriginal people whose belief system is intertwined with the landscape.

Once appropriated by the Australian government for commercial tourism development and renamed “Ayers Rock” and “Mount Olga,” Uluru and Kata Tjuta are now the centerpiece of a 330,000-acre National Park owned by Anangu and jointly managed with the Parks Australia. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is governed by a unique, precedent-setting law, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act of 1989 and many of the sacred places around Uluru are off limits to tourists and photographers. According to one traditional elder: “This place, Uluru, is sacred. Don’t say that it is sacred only for a short time. It is a sacred object. We, Anangu, are the keepers of it.”

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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