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'The Stone of Dreamtime' | Visiting Ancient Ochre Pits



Ochre pits in the MacDonnell Ranges

I visited these amazingly beautiful Ochre Pits in the MacDonnell ranges before I left Alice springs. Known as the 'Stone of Dreamtime', Aboriginal people have extracted Ochre from these cliffs for thousands of years. The Ochre from here is still used by Western Aranda people, mainly for ceremonial purposes. The traditional Aboriginal stories and ceremonies for this site belong to Western Aranda men.

Ochre is integral to the Dreamtime stories of creation and law of Aboriginal people throughout Australia. Women and children are not permitted to dig the Ochre or know the stories associated with the site. However women are permitted to use Ochre from this site in their ceremonies if it is provided by men or if permission is granted.