Tourists line up waiting to climb the sandstone monolith called Uluru that dominates Australia's arid center at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Friday. Photo: Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP
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Climbers rush to beat ban on Australia's iconic rock Uluru

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Prominent indigenous academic Marcia Langton reacted to the stream of climbers converging on Uluru with a tweet: "A curse will fall on all of them."

so let put a curse on people because they dont believe in something you do.

Uluru was around millions of years before humans were walking on all fours. To say one group of people own Uluru because their ancestors saw it first is just wrong in my opinion

7 ( +18 / -11 )

I agree. Seems the local people want to have their cake and eat it too. It's OK for tourists to come and gawk at the rock, walk/bike around it, but somehow climbing is sacreligious. I always thought that Australia was a secular society anyway...

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

I think the Uluru Site is beautiful.

It's:

(The Anangu refer to tourists as munga, their word for ants. )

that I take issue with. And the whole curse accusations.

That just seems biased and make people look very close minded.

Tourists should respect community wishes but the community also must be a respecter of persons from all nations as well.

Remember, that rock was here before you and will be once your long gone, so it's not really yours anyway, you might say you belong to it, more than it belongs to you.

So let people enjoy it's beauty safely but in a manner that suits them, not you. Besides, it also brings in capital, and that's good too. Peace

2 ( +7 / -5 )

prominent academic.... ? more like prominent joke

in any case, make it legal but charge a proper bundle to enter the grounds... ,it will reduce the flow and give you budget for higher fences.

As sentimental the whole aborigine culture is, the fact is they lost their land to the colonizers , just like some other tribes that were there before them and so on..

Prominent indigenous academic Marcia Langton reacted to the stream of climbers converging on Uluru with a tweet: "A curse will fall on all of them."

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Have been to Uluru 4 times and climbed it on that first visit 36 years ago.

The next time I went the local aboriginal cultural facility had been built and was a place with a wealth of information. I decided then that the value of climbing the "rock" was limited in comparison to having a guided walk about / around it.

A few years ago I took a groiup of Japanese folks there (12) and no one climbed it because it was on "wind-hold" for 3 days. Everyone had a great time without climbing it and really enjoyed hearing the stories of the Anangu's culture and relation with Uluru. Especially they all loved viewing the rock from a distance from morning to evening and witnessing the amazing colour changes.

In addition the nearby Olgas (Kata Tjuta) are as equally breathtaking in their beauty and are fascinating to walk around.

In recent years the number of climbers has dwindled to 12% of visitors, offering proof that by far, most people don't feel the necessity to climb it.

And re the curse - one persons opinion (& curse) does not amount to much. I think you'll find the majority of the indigenous folk wish no ill-will towards and harm upon anyone. That's just a media beat up.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I support the Anangus wishes regarding this.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I know this thing as Ayers Rock. When did it become Ulurur? This PC renaming of everything makes communication unnecessary complicated.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The muslims have Mecca. The Catholics the Vatican. The Jews the Western Wall. The pagans Stonehenge. These and many more are sacred sites for those connected.

This decision is the correct one.

When did it become Ulurur? 

More of a case "when did it become Ayers Rock?"

Known traditionally as Uluru, Ayers Rock adopted its alternative name in 1873 when the surveyor William Gosse named it after the then Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I know this thing as Ayers Rock. When did it become Ulurur? This PC renaming of everything makes communication unnecessary complicated.

I can see how it is confusing for you. It was called Uluru for millenia. It was renamed to Ayers Rock a hundred odd years ago. It is in fact the same place. Hope this helps.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Known traditionally as Uluru,

Known to who? Not to me or anybody I know. Ayers Rock has been in world maps, books, brochures, whatever for as long as I know.

Do you seriously want to reprint heaps of existing literature every time some group decides it wants show power by insisting on a name change? Like the Korean kids pasting "East Sea" stickers over "Sea of Japan" in American maps?

Ayers Rock adopted its alternative name in 1873

That is heck of a long time. And I doubt many people heard of the of Ururu before that. Stop this PC already.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Ayers Rock adopted its alternative name in 1873

Rocks don't adopt names, the invading whites gave it the name

But that was only one small item of wrong doings against the original people of the lands. They and their culture was crushed by the white invaders. The list is very long including the removal of children from their rightful parents and communities.

I expect that's what what you mean by PC?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

That is heck of a long time. And I doubt many people heard of the of Ururu before that. Stop this PC already.

Yes, let's all live in ignorance because 1873 was a "heck of a long time" ago.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Known to who? Not to me or anybody I know.

It's a shame they didn't take your (and your chums) rock-naming sensitivities into account.

Do you seriously want to reprint heaps of existing literature every time some group decides it wants show power by insisting on a name change?

You and your mates must have been really furious when they changed it the first time then. All that money wasted on new parchment.

Stop this PC already.

Stop using the proper name for things when they aren't in English already!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You and your mates must have been really furious when they changed it the first time then. All that money wasted on new parchment.

I was not around in 1873. Were you?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Zichi:

Those mentioned are constructed. No one (except gods or nature) built it. Shouldn't the state or federal govt have some say over this? Imagine mt Fuji or mt Everest being banned because a group considers them sacred. They are not temples of man but of nature...For all.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I was not around in 1873. Were you?

Yes, I was. First time I ever drank Coors. And I was just getting used to Uluru when some bloke who'd never visited it changed its name. Had to go through all my botanical tomes and cross stuff out. Ye Olde PC gone mad it was.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Prominent indigenous academic Marcia Langton reacted to the stream of climbers converging on Uluru with a tweet: "A curse will fall on all of them."

I doubt it.

academic

Some academics are really educated idiots.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Nice to see so many people telling Indigenous Australian people what they ought to believe in. The Anangu people are recognized as being traditional owners (traditional = 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 years or more). They've never liked people climbing Uluru (as other commenters have noted, the long-term name for the monolith, relatively recently supplanted by the name of Ayers Rock and now restored) but only now are their wishes as traditional owners being respected.

Keep your feet off Uluru, it's not that hard.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@BigYen

The Anangu people are recognized as being traditional owners

Would you admit that you're supporting an ethnically based public policy? It's hard to deny that you're effectively privileging the cultural and religious preferences of one particular ethnic group solely on the basis that they've been there far longer than other groups. It seems impossible to reconcile this with any notion of democracy or equality given that aboriginal numbers pale in comparison to the 'new' Australians who seem to prefer climbing the mountain. Do immigrants to Australia have less of a valid claim on Uluru than the Anangu people? Do immigrants, in general, have a lesser claim on the amenities of the countries they live in?

Keep your feet off Uluru, it's not that hard.

Would you say the same to women who want to ascend Mount Athos? The indigenous people and traditional owners there have a cultural and religious preference that women don't climb their mountain.

I think this is actually a complex issue because many people who subscribe to a more left-leaning political view tend to instinctively support anything and everything that indigenous peoples ask for, but when you stop to examine what these demands actually entail and what the wider implications are, the demands actually run completely counter to the left-leaning values that these same people claim to champion.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Could think of nothing worse than climbing any rock or mountain along with an endless stream of other people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don't enter or climb it, I respect it," Wilson said. "It is the same here for Anangu. We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity."

Australian Aborigines have been trampled on and their cultures and traditions destroyed and desecrated. And then their children got 'educated' to be part of a newer Australia that really didn't want them in the first place. It's the same all over the world, from North + South America, the NZ Maoris, the Igorot of the Philippines and even Japan's Ainu.

Chip StarToday 07:12 pm JSTThat is heck of a long time. And I doubt many people heard of the of Ururu before that. Stop this PC already.

Yes, let's all live in ignorance because 1873 was a "heck of a long time" ago.

Many people in the US made a stink when Mt. McKinley (named after a POTUS who never visited Alaska) was reverted back to its original Alaska Native name of Denali. This is not a case of PC, it's a case of respect for the original native people there.

'The time has come to say fair's fair

To pay the rent, to pay our share

The time has come, a fact's a fact

It belongs to them, let's give it back'   - MIDNIGHT OIL

We can't change the past but we can stop repeating the same stupid mistakes. Climbers cause wear and tear on the Rock's face anyway. The needs of the Aborigines should be honored, this is their reservation. If tourists want to take pics of this natural beauty fine but don't trample on the locals' traditions. Leave the Uluru rock alone.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No point going there now.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Are the indigenous Australians allowed to climb it ? If so, that somewhat sets a precedent over who can go where depending upon a racial identity...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Many people in the US made a stink when Mt. McKinley (named after a POTUS who never visited Alaska) was reverted back to its original Alaska Native name of Denali. This is not a case of PC, it's a case of respect for the original native people there.

Many people in the US are ignorant simpletons.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

M3M3M3:

Ethnically based public policy my ass. It's a straightforward recognition of the rights and sensitivities of a minority in one small area of behaviour. And it's no big deal not to climb Uluru, what's that about anyway? Just to say you've done it? You should recognize the gesture made by the traditional owners in allowing others to climb it all these years.

I do say the same regarding Mount Athos. The Orthodox Church there doesn't want women on the mountain, and even though I don't like that attitude I recognize their right to set their own proscriptions as to who goes there. My father was Orthodox, he went and stayed in one of the monasteries on Athos while my mother stayed down in the town below. Once again, it's not a big deal. It's just the way they are.

You seem to think anyone "left-leaning" sees every issue through the same ideological filter. Some of us are "left-leaning" in some issues, not so much in others. I'm not an ideologue. I like to think I examine every issue on its merits. Because I've worked with Australian Indigenous people in employment and cultural issues I've probably got a more nuanced and sympathetic view of those people's opinions than you have. That doesn't mean I think they're saints, they're just like any other group of human beings with their own faults and shortcomings.

So what about you? Do you believe that the rights of minorities in any given society should always be sacrificed on the altar of majority opinion? Sure sounds like it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As sentimental the whole aborigine culture is, the fact is they lost their land to the colonizers , just like some other tribes that were there before them and so on..

A comment that pretty much sums up ignorance and lack of sympathy that too many people bring to the issue of Aboriginal Australian culture. On what basis is Aboriginal culture (actually a number of dofferent cultures and languages) "sentimental"?

They "lost their land to their colonizers"? Yes, through murder, dispossession and generations of legally-sanctioned discrimination in many ways similar to apartheid in South Africa.

"Some other tribes that were there before them"? What tribes? You'd be contributing greatly to the study of human history in Australia if you could provide some evidence for that particular claim.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many people in the US made a stink when Mt. McKinley...was reverted back to its original Alaska Native name of Denali.

Well, what do you expect: the people who make and publish the maps are most often the ones who choose the names of places and things. The natives didn't make maps or publish them, as they lacked the technology and were illiterate. Few people, especially the SJWs, understand the historic and social background to these controversies.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well, what do you expect: the people who make and publish the maps are most often the ones who choose the names of places and things. The natives didn't make maps or publish them, as they lacked the technology and were illiterate. Few people, especially the SJWs, understand the historic and social background to these controversies.

You seem to be saying it is the natives' fault they used the land differently and were educated differently. You also seem to be saying white people's use of the land and education were superior. You then seem to be combining all of this into justification for not using the correct names of places.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree with the ban on this one. It is a sacred site. Climbing all over Uluru would be like climbing the Vatican. If anything I would have thought that the Japanese would be most sympathetic. I recall reading that one of Japan's most famous Torii gates has been getting damaged over the years due to tourists jamming coins into its cracks, allowing seawater in which causes rotting. Surely climbers, with their climbing gear, is also doing damage to Uluru. It might not seem like much damage, but it builds up over time. If a ban on climbing Uluru isn't implemented, then Uluru won't be around forever. There'll be nothing left but dust and rubble where it used to be.

I don't see that the ban should affect tourism all that much. With the right exhibists and promotions, Uluru will still be able to draw in a vast crowd from all around the world. It's one of the things that Australia is most famous for, after all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

mmwkdwToday 01:08 am JST

Are the indigenous Australians allowed to climb it ? If so, that somewhat sets a precedent over who can go where depending upon a racial identity...

Are you serious or just truly don't know?

No Anangu man, woman or child would ever conceive of the notion to try to climb to the top.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't see that the ban should affect tourism all that much. With the right exhibists and promotions, Uluru will still be able to draw in a vast crowd from all around the world. It's one of the things that Australia is most famous for, after all.

I don't think that the Aborigines would mind if you took a picture of Uluru. It is an Aussie landmark just like the US Grand Canyon. But what would climbing this thing mean, anyway? Some things, esp. natural should just be left alone.

Chip StarToday 06:49 am JSTWell, what do you expect: the people who make and publish the maps are most often the ones who choose the names of places and things. The natives didn't make maps or publish them, as they lacked the technology and were illiterate. Few people, especially the SJWs, understand the historic and social background to these controversies.

Are you saying that rock paintings and pictographs make a people inferior or stupid? Many other languages use pictographic writing, Chinese certainly uses ideograms and nobody says that the Chinese are 'primitive' or 'uneducated'. The Chinese language is extremely complicated.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@starpunk

Are you saying that rock paintings and pictographs make a people inferior or stupid? 

No, i didn't say that. What's your point?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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