Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The large conglomerate rock formations known as Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) are a remarkable group of 30 or so domed hills situated about 25 km from Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory of Australia. The tallest of the group, Mt Olga, stands 457 m in height.
The native name Kata Tjuta literally means many heads and is as sacred a site to the native people as Uluru. Many ceremonies were, and are still carried out here, particularly at night. One of these former ceremonies included a type of public punishment that in extreme cases included death. If a woman of the tribe who was molested or attacked and injured named the attacker and he was found guilty, she was obliged to spear him through the leg as punishment for his indiscretion.
There are many Pitjantjatjara Dream time legends associated with this place and indeed everything in the vicinity including of course Uluru. A number of legends surround the great snake Wanambi who is said to live on the summit of Mt Olga and only comes down during the dry season.
The alternative name, the Olgas, derived from the Queen of Spain, was given to the formation in 1872.
Kata Tjuta can be accessed through the airport of Yulara, 50kms away.
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