The Breakaways • South Australia • Australia

Uploaded 12 Oct 2009 — 8 favorites
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© William Bullimore
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

The Breakaways is a site of siginificance to the Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara people. They are a striking example of arid scenery from the flat-topped mesas to the stony gibber desert. The area is rich in Aboriginal and European history. The Breakaways are one of the hottest places in Australia, with summer temperatures reaching up to 65 degrees celsius.Seventy million years ago, this area was covered by an inland sea. Fossils of the original sea creatures can be found throughout the area.

Ancient Aboriginal artefacts can be found throughout the reserve. Abandoned jasper and silcrete stone tools and flakes are the most commonly found. The levels of workmanship of the stone implements varies greatly, from rough stone fragments to highly worked, finely edged cutting tools.

Before European settlement, Aboriginal people called the area "umoona", meaning "long life". It was named after the umoona tree, which is found in the Breakaways. The full Aboriginal legend about the Breakaways is secret men's business, but some of the story can be told.

In this photo, Ungkata is featured (the small mesa). Ungkata means "bearded dragon lizard" and this particular animal is the token for the Antakirinja people.

The Breakaways is the main source of red ochre used in body decoration for ceremonies. Other ochre colours are also found here.

10 responses

  • Scott Baker

    Scott Baker said (12 Oct 2009):

    Wonderful Landscape - funny what shooting in low-angled sunlight will do for a pic

  • Alexis - Now on Flickr

    Alexis - Now on Flickr gave props (13 Oct 2009):

    What a great image, and your comments are so interesting and valuable

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (13 Oct 2009):

    A fantastic shot!! It looks like a lonely place. Wonderful textures.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (13 Oct 2009):

    Amazing landscape with bold color and texture

  • Qi Wang

    Qi Wang gave props (13 Oct 2009):

    classic picture

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight (Deleted) gave props (13 Oct 2009):

    You are providing us with some of the most amazing outdoor scenes on the planet.

  • Jeff Weber

    Jeff Weber gave props (14 Oct 2009):

    Just beautiful. Jeez, did you get the lighting right.

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (15 Oct 2009):

    Its like looking at a photo of Mar's, beautifully captured complimented by your story!

  • Latrenia Bryant

    Latrenia Bryant gave props (16 Oct 2009):


  • Manon Boily

    Manon Boily (Deleted) gave props (25 Oct 2009):

    wow! fantastic place and a great photo!

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