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Coordinates: 27°19′19″S 130°10′5″E / 27.32194°S 130.16806°E / -27.32194; 130.16806 Kaḻayapiṯi (also written Kaḻaya Piṯi and Kaḻaiapiṯi) is a rock hole in the Birksgate Range in northwestern South Australia. It is an important location in the early history of the Pitjantjatjara people. The name comes from the words kaḻaya (emu) and piṯi (referring to a place from which the ancestral being is believed to originate; kapi piṯi is a waterhole). It is a major sacred site for the Kaḻaya Tjukurpa (Emu Dreaming), and has been used for ceremonies by the Pitjantjatjara since long before colonisation of Australia.[1]

Kaḻayapiṯi forms the southern heartland of the traditional Pitjantjatjara territory. According to the anthropologist Norman Tindale, the Pitjantjatjara people originally migrated from the southern coast. Kaḻayapiṯi served as their main home as they moved further north and northeast into the Tomkinson, Mann and Petermann Ranges.[2][3] The rock hole here was very important during droughts, as there were few sources of water so reliable and permanent in the Great Victoria Desert to the south.[4] However, during a long and severe drought between 1914 and 1916, the Pitjantjatjara were forced to move further east into the Musgrave Ranges, traditionally Yankunytjatjara territory.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lester Richard Hiatt (1978). Australian Aboriginal Concepts. Vol. 12. Aboriginal Studies Press. p. 162. ISBN 9780855750701.
  2. Harold James Frith (1978). Basil S. Hetzel (ed.). The Nutrition of Aborigines in relation to the ecosystem of Central Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. p. 52. ISBN 9780643003064.
  3. M. G. Bicchieri (1972). Hunters and Gatherers Today: A Socioeconomic Study of Eleven Such Cultures in the Twentieth Century. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. pp. 218–234. ISBN 9780030768651.
  4. Allen Keast (1981). Ecological Biogeography of Australia. Ecological Biogeography of Australia. Vol. 3. W. Junk. p. 1882. ISBN 9789061930921.
  5. "Language information — Pitjantjatjara". AUSTLANG: Australian Indigenous Language Database. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013.

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