Arrernte people

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Arrernte welcoming dance, entrance of the strangers, Alice Springs, Central Australia, 9 May 1901, photograph
Artist Albert Namatjira was a Western Aranda man.

The Arrernte /ərʌndə/ people, sometimes referred to as the Aranda, Arunta, or Arrarnta are an Aboriginal Australian people who live in the Arrernte lands, at Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and surrounding areas of the Central Australia region of the Northern Territory. Some Aranda live in other areas far from their homeland, including the major Australian cities and overseas.

Aranda mythology and spirituality focuses on the landscape and the Dreamtime. Altjira is the creator being of the Inapertwa that became all living creatures. Tjurunga are objects of religious significance.

The Arrernte Council is the representative and administrative body for the Aranda Lands and is part of the Central Land Council.

Tourism is important to the economy of Alice Springs and surrounding communities.[a]

Arrernte languages and dialects[edit]

The ancestors of the Aranda all spoke one or more of the Arrernte group of languages/dialects (see below). "Aranda" is a simplified, Australian English approximation of the traditional pronunciation of the name of Arrernte [ˈarəɳ͡ɖa ].[2]

Aranda people speak the following Arrernte dialects/languages:

The Aranda had a highly developed sign language.[3]


The Arrernte's traditional lands, according to Norman Tindale's estimate, encompassed some 47,000 square miles (120,000 km2).[4]


The name Aranda refers to the following distinct groups (or "mobs"):

However, an alternative, narrower use of the word Aranda refers only to people from the lands north of Alice Springs.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Spirituality & mythology


  1. ^ The Aranda way of life is presented through tour guides and storytellers speaking of the life, their artwork, their culture and language in a variety of different ways. Tours are run regularly to Hermannsburg and Wallace Rockhole, both of which are (Western) Aranda,[1] so as to learn more about the Aranda way of life, from their artwork to their culture and language.


  1. ^ AAA&CC.
  2. ^ Myfany Turpin (2004), "Have you ever wondered why Arrernte is spelt the way it is?" Archived 6 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (originally published by the Central Land Council. (Access: 4 March 2013).
  3. ^ Kendon 1988, pp. 49-50.
  4. ^ Tindale 1974, pp. 220–221.


External links[edit]