The Story of The Anmatjere Woman and Child
In December 2005, the Aileron Roadhouse, located along Stuart Highway, North of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia, made headlines for good reasons. The roadhouse owner had erected a giant sculpture of an Anmatjere Man, representing the Aboriginal people who were the region’s first settlers.
The locals were pleased by the sculpture and even named it after their ancient rainmaker Charlie Quartpot. However, the women from the Anmatjere tribe hoped that he would soon find a companion. Their wishes came true when the Anmatjere Woman and Child were erected in the same area three years later, in December 2008.
The Anmatjere woman sculpture stands tall, holding a stick to the ground while her child seems to hide behind her as if seeking protection. A few months later, another sculpture of a goanna lizard holding the woman’s stick was added.
These sculptures represent a typical family of the Anmatjere tribe, who were hunters and gatherers. The goanna lizard also forms a significant part of the aboriginal folktale, primarily as a source of food for the natives.
Mark Egan built the two sculptures to attract visitors to the roadhouse. The Big Aboriginal Hunter, also known as The Anmatjere Man, was strategically erected on a hill behind the roadhouse overlooking the town. On the other hand, the Anmatjere Woman and Child stood in front of the roadhouse.
Over the years, the two huge sculptures of the Anmatjere tribe family have done more than marketing the roadhouse. They are now a famous tourist attraction in Alice Springs, representing the locals.
The Northern Territory is home to many more Big Things worth visiting and reading about, such as: