Pronounced (um-bludder-witch) Ì¢âÂÛÏ Population: approximately 350 people Ì¢âÂÛÏ Predominately Alyawarr Speaking People Ampilatwatja Community is situated 325km North East of Alice Springs.
Ampilatwatja is in the heart of Alyawarr land on the Sandover Highway. The Alyawarr people have always lived there and would travel between soaks in the hot weather. The Alyawarr people of the region have close ties to the people that live at Lake Nash, and early in European settlement would walk to Lake Nash for rations of food and tobacco.
The first European in the region was Charles Winnecke, a surveyor, who passed through in 1877. Although the Alyawarr people were shy of the Europeans, WinneckeÌ¢âÂã¢s expedition needed the help of the local people to find water in the desert, although they were not always careful with what they found and were known to waste water.
In 1940, the land around Ampilatwatja was taken up by Nugget Morton (who is connected to the infamous Coniston Massacre of between 30 and 60 people in 1928), under the name of Ammaroo Station. The property then changed hands a number of times and it was not until the mid 1980s that a small excision was made for the Alyawarr people. In the 1990s, with the return of the Utopia Station to traditional ownership, the Alyawarr people of Ampilatwatja made a claim for their traditional homelands. Banjo Morton says: Ì¢âÂÒWe never moved from this countryÌ¢âÂå_ This is our fatherÌ¢âÂã¢s fatherÌ¢âÂã¢s country. We canÌ¢âÂã¢t leave it!Ì¢âÂå
Art is an important expression of the Alyawarr peopleÌ¢âÂã¢s connection with the land. Artists of Ampilatwatja are said to Ì¢âÂÒexude a complex and progressive approach to depicting the traditional knowledge of dreaming and country through the translation of water holes and soakages, bush medicines and bush tuckers, mountains, sandhills and ant hillsÌ¢âÂå and that Ì¢âÂÒtheir work retains the cultural heritage and values of Alyawarr lore.Places that hold great significance are depicted in their new art works, identifying the country and the lay of the land instead of cultural symbols, roundels and dreaming linesÌ¢âÂå.
Another CAAMA supported station in the Barkly Regional Council area.