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The Aranda // people, sometimes referred to as the Arrernte, Arunta, or Arrarnta are an Aboriginal Australian people who are the traditional custodians of 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.
Tourism is important to the economy of Alice Springs and surrounding communities, 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, so as to learn more about the Aranda way of life, from their artwork to their culture and language.
The name Aranda refers to the following distinct groups (or "mobs"):
- Central Aranda, from the township of Alice Springs only.
- Eastern Aranda, from the Aranda lands east of Alice Springs.
- Western Aranda, from the Aranda lands west of Alice Springs, out to Mutitjulu and King's Canyon.
However, an alternative, narrower use of the word Aranda refers only to people from the lands north of Alice Springs.
Dialects/languages in the Arrernte group
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 ].
Aranda people speak the following Arrernte dialects/languages:
- Eastern Aranda or Ikngerripenhe
- Central Aranda or Mparntwe Arrernte
- Lower Aranda or Alenjerntarpe originates from the Finke River area
- Spirituality & mythology
- Aboriginal Australia Art & Culture Centre. "Aboriginal Art Culture and Tourism Australia". Aboriginalart.com.au. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
- Myfany Turpin (2004), "Have you ever wondered why Arrernte is spelt the way it is?" (originally published by the Central Land Council. (Access: 4 March 2013).
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