26 July 2014

We're off to the Ochre Pits ... #1

Signage from the Parks and Wildlife Service of Northern Territory read in part: "Aboriginal people have extracted ochre from these cliffs for thousands of years.  The ochre from here is still used by Western Arrernte people, mainly for ceremonial purposes".









it is noted as Stone of the Dreamtime.  Here, a 10m high cliff face.



and more interesting information gleaned from this sign:

Yellow ochre, the dominant colour of these cliffs, is caused by a mixture of white clay and iron oxide (rust).

White ochre has very little or no iron.  The white colour comes from kaolin, a white clay mineral.

Tiny fragments of mica and quarts give the ochre a shiny quality.


15 comments:

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Wow- that's a huge fine for taking the ochre! The different colors on the face are interesting and pretty-

Beth of "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

wow, now that is a high fine. we were in West VA ... not sure how long ago & the fine for littering was $2,500 ... so it must be the similar folks making the signs. so shocking. i hope people will listen. i really dislike folks who don't follow those signs. so important to keep the world & special places/areas looking the way they have for years to come. gorgeous hike. ( :

Jeanne said...

I love that , the stone of the dream time. What beautiful cliffs. I'll bet the history of the aboriginal people is so interesting!

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

The ochre pit was nothing like I expected. Thanks for showing this.

Jan Castle said...

Gee, I use Ochre color in making my cards...LOL! Very interesting Carole...TFS
Hugs,
Jan

Irma said...

Beautiful high cliffs, Carole.
For someone who does to mountaineering, this is a challenge.
Best regards, Irma

Made by KKann said...

Wow - beautiful and interesting.

EG CameraGirl said...

Ah! So it's iron that makes ochre yellow!

carol l mckenna said...

what an intriquing post and fun experience in your great photos ~ thanks,

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

diane b said...

So that is how they made so many different colours. Amazing place.

Jill Harrison said...

where exactly are the ochre pits? We didn't see them when we were in NT. Happy travels.

Carole M. said...

thanks all for your comments, and to Jill, I've added the mention of location now; 100 kms west of Alice Springs, along the Larapinta Trail, these Ochre Pits are situated on the Namatjira Drive, Burt Plain, N.T.

Christian Perrin said...

Intriguing place! Aboriginal history and culture interests me more and more as the years go by. I wonder how the landowners feel about all the visitors? You just know they had to put the sign there because people were doing exactly what it says not to!

Laura said...

Very interesting to learn about the ochre being in the earth and how the different elements cause the color. Such a beautiful place too! What an amazing trip you had! Thanks for the "virtual tour"!

Kay said...

Interesting. Australia has so many colors!