Merging Kultcha

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Symbolising the inter-connected history between local Arrernte people and Cameleers. Features the work of Chantelle Mulladad, Keringke Arts.

This train of five illuminated camels celebrates the rich and joint history of the cameleers and Arrernte people in the Red Centre.

Each camel, over three metres high, features a mosaic of coloured glass for a stained-glass window effect that casts beautiful shadows with shimmering light onto the red sand below.

The cameleers, who arrived from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and Turkey, played a key role in opening up the outback of Australia from the 1860s to the 1930s. They provided supplies to remote mission stations and helped to lay crucial national infrastructure, such as the Overland Telegraph Line and sections of the Adelaide to Darwin railway, which is still in use today.

The installation acknowledges the deep connections forged by the cameleers, many who befriended and married into Aboriginal communities in Central Australia and started families that preserve this rich history. The evidence of their influence can still be felt throughout the community.