Aranda - Settlements

Although the Aranda used to be nomadic hunters and gatherers, they had very clear notions of homelands. Within these territories there were well-trodden circuits that people would use during the yearly round. Camps were normally made at named places, well watered, and usually very closely associated with mythological beings. The size of these camps changed dramatically from time to time as members left in order to visit relatives or new people joined. Sometimes a camp might consist of no more than a single extended family, while at other times it might be occupied by some 200 people gathered together for lengthy ceremonies. People spent much of their time in the open air, although temporary shelters and windbreaks were commonly built to protect them from sun, wind, and rain. Since contact with Whites, these same shelters and windbreaks have been used on missions and pastoral stations, although many of the materials used to build them have been new (e.g., tarpaulin and corrugated iron). In recent decades there has been an increasing use of houses built of more durable materials (like cement and brick) and the provision of electricity and reticulated water. These houses and facilities may be found in large settlement areas like Alice Springs, Hermannsburg, and Santa Teresa, or at outstations, which are relatively new settlements occupied by small extended-family groups at places of personal and mythological significance.

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