A visit to Karijini National Park wouldn’t be complete without a tour to the visitor’s center. We made a stop at the center with the intention of paying our daily park fees & to purchase a post card. I wasn’t expecting a museum and store. The museum alone made the center a “must see” for any visitor coming here. The building had a unique Eco-friendly design that was merged seamlessly into the surrounding desert landscape.
Walking from the parking lot I spotted a large bank of solar panels; this region of Australia has almost constant sunshine providing never-ending supply of free energy. A bright yellow generator provides backup power for night use and for rare cloudy days.
Inside the visitor’s center we found toilets, a shopette and a wonderful museum. We selected some post cards, paid our park fees, picked up some drinking water and then began a tour of the museum. The museum had some wonderful Aboriginal exhibits explaining the history and culture of the local people, had exhibits of farming and hunting implements and had some art, clothing and ceremonial items. I was fascinated by the boomerangs and I captured a photo of some of the genuine article.
The museum had a set of Emu eggs laid out in an Emu nest – they are quite large and look like large black and blue Easter candies. I couldn’t remember if they were eggs or gourds but Andrea verified that they are indeed huge Emu eggs.
I learned more about Aboriginal culture in this museum that in all of my travels in Australia to date. I found the explanation of the relationships in the tribal communities quite fascinating. There seems to be caste-type rules for marrying; a person can only marry a person of the same “skin type.” Rules for settling disputes center around tribal relationships and were more complex than I had originally realized. Looking at the colored flow chart that explains who’s allowed to marry whom, see if you aren’t as confused as I was.
If you visit Karijini and you want to see some authentic Aboriginal art, tools and history, be sure to make a visit!
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