Mer Anmatyerren

Anmatyerr Country

Anmatyerr Countries

This map shows just some of the Countries where our project helped with inter-generational transmission of shield designs, songs and ceremonies. Anmatyerr Country is very large and made of separate Countries. Our project has, so far, focused in shield designs, song and ceremonies in the western and central Anmatyerr area.

Each Country has its own ceremonies and designs and although we are connected, we also have our own cultural heritage to own and manage. As Old Jacky Urarty from Mer Akarn said to T.G.H. Strehlow in the 1930s,

Anmatyerr people were always living here, just one by one, separately.

– Old Jacky Urarty from Mer Akarn (talking to TGH Strehlow in 1932)

Malcolm Ross Peltharr sketches designs at Ti Tree.

Statement on Anmatyerr Country

Nwern family map anem mer nhenh mapek-artwey. Tyerrty Anmatyerr nyent-antey anem. Artekerr-artek mangkem mer arrpenh-warn alhem. Kwer-penh nwern-kenh anem merek-artwey, nyent-antey. Ingkerreny tyerrty arlalty nwern anem. Arelh ampwang mapel artwang aywangel-thwen antwerrkem angkety angerr. Angwenhakey-akert, anengkerr-akert, alyelhenty, arlkeny, mpatyel ilem ahelh-warn. Nwern anyenem nwern-kenh mer lterrk anthwerr.


Our families are traditional owners for this country. The Anmatyerr people are all one. They branch out like roots into other country. Then our families are landowners, all one together. All of them are our family. The old women and men have a big story. With lots of things, dreaming stories, songs, ceremonial body designs, and ground drawings. We keep our country really strongly.


Nwern anyenem mer yanh pwert-antey. Nwern kwenh arntarnt-arelhetyek nwern-kenh merlalp map. Kwer-penh nwern kwer map kalty-anthetyek, inangemek antwerrketyenheng angkety nhenh. Inang awelhetyenheng mwerr anthwerr.


We keep the country all together. We need to respect our ancestral spirits. Then we should teach the children, so they can grab hold of this story. And listen and learn really carefully, so they can feel good about themselves. This map was drawn to teach young Anmatyerr people about their countries, so that they can see where they are from and which families they are connected to. It was also drawn so that young people can look at the skin groups they are and what their grandfathers and other families’ skin groups are.

– April Pengart Campbell, Ti Tree Community Member and Educator.

Making Country