Mparntwe Sacred Sites: Wild Dog Dreaming

Mparntwe Sacred Sites: Wild Dog Dreaming
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Access fees

Aerial views show Mount Gillen. The voice-over narration tells us about the Wild Dog Dreaming, when a local dog ancestor battled an intruder dog and eventually transformed into a rock embedded into the ground. Shots show the sacred rock in the bustling town of Alice Springs. This site is an example of a site that became unusable for ceremony due to its location. A custodian tells the Wild Dog Dreaming story during a National Native Title Tribunal Hearing in 1997.

Summary by Romaine Moreton

The Dreaming stories are of significant importance to their Indigenous custodians, and they are also important within the Western legal system when Indigenous groups are seeking Native Title. In this clip, we see how the Dreaming stories offer proof within the Western legal system of connection to land.

Mparntwe Sacred Sites Synopsis

A documentary about the sacred sites of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and how the development of Alice Springs affected the cultural traditions of the Arrernte people.

Curator's Notes

Mparntwe Sacred Sites is a documentary that speaks about a clash of beliefs. The development of Alice Springs interfered with the cultural practice of the Arrernte people, and in this documentary the Arrernte people speak of having to compromise with the developers in order to protect sites. Mparntwe Sacred Sites is about two cultural beliefs existing in the same space. While the Arrernte have Dreaming stories thousands of years old that tell how the land was given formation, the Arrernte people interviewed say these stories are ‘not believed’ by the developers. The importance of being able to practice culture and protect the land is inherent to wellbeing. Arrernte elders in Mparntwe Sacred Sites give us an intensive history of the area of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), and the journey of the many ancestral beings that gave Mparntwe its form. It is during the National Native Title Tribunal hearings of 1997 that Native Title was recognised in Alice Springs.

Notes by Romaine Moreton

Production company:
CAAMA Productions
Executive producer :
Citt Williams
Director and writer :
Danielle Maclean
Cast :
Trisha Moreton-Thomas