Protecting Sacred Sites: The Legend of the ‘Devils Marbles’ Also Known as Karlu Karlu

Protecting Sacred Sites: The Legend of the ‘Devils Marbles’ Also Known as Karlu Karlu

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Karlu Karlu

Also called Karlu Karlu ‘Big Boulders,’ the ‘Devils Marbles’ is one Australian area which is full of hundreds round stones or also called boulders, with diameters of 1.5 feet to almost 20 feet. Several of them are balanced on the top of one another in an almost magical way.

According to the local native mythology, this area is an essential site of ceremony and ritual, and it was also said that it had been created by the Devil Man by the name Arrange. It was told that he was traveling through this area, making hair belts, something that men were wearing according to their local customs.

While he has been twirling hair in strings, he has dropped several clusters of it on the ground, and that formed these boulders which can be seen today. Traveling back to Ayleparrarntenhe, Arrange also spat on the ground, so his spat also turned into these huge boulders which are placed more centrally in the area. In order to commemorate the event, the name Ayleparrarntenhe was given to the twin-peaked hill to the east of the stone area.

  • Protection of the local and sacred sites

At that times, the locals in the area believed that those stones are full of different powers and they considered them sacred. When someone causes them damage or also disturbs them in some way, he or she will bear the life-threatening consequences.

One disappointing thing for the local population was that one stone had been taken from that area in order to be placed on the grave of John Flynn, in 1953. He has been the one that founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service. In 1998, this same stone was returned to its location. Then, the local Alice Springs Arrernte people permitted the group to take other stone in order to place it on the grave of Flynn.

In 1980, there was another stone taken without given permission. However, it was returned after 15 months later, in 1981.

We recommend you to add this not so famous sacred area to the places you would like to visit, and always keep in mind to respect the local people and their customs when you visit it.

 

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