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Devil's Marbles

Friday, December 17, 2010

Devil's Marbles

We stopped for Internet, supermarket and laundry in one of Northern Territory's biggest towns, Tennant Creek, with the population of 3,000. I guess there are not many big towns in the Northern Territory. Most of the population is aboriginals.

An hour's drive from Tennant Creek are the Devils Marbles. It is a pile of huge, several metres high, red, round granite boulders that have formed about 1700 million years ago. The site is known as Karlu Karlu for the traditional aboriginal owners. 

It is a very sacred site for the aboriginals. Aboriginal people believe that people from the Dreaming (stories that tell of the journey of Ancestral Beings that created the world) hide in the caves under the rocks. 

"They are real people like us. You can see them. A long time ago I went with my billycan down to the creek here to get some water. One of these secret people came out and started playing with me. I couldn't go away. My mother came and got me, saved me. After that we never camped at this place again, never. They are kind these secret people, but they can make you mad. They can change you into one of them. They can say 'follow me' and you can't go back. It happened like that for my cousin. He disappeared. The old people made a big ceremony, singing the ground and the rocks to make them let my cousin come back. We have lost that song now. We have no song to bring children back." A senior traditional owner

We were lucky, and secret people didn't make us mad. .... Or did they? 

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