Photos: Indigenous celebrations at Australia’s Uluru after climbers banned

Indigenous Australians performed songs and traditional dance as the sun set over Uluru, capping a weekend of celebrations to mark the historic ban on climbing the sacred site. The ceremony was held two days after a final surge of tourists flocked to scale the giant red monolith before its closure. As well as respecting cultural practices, the ban is designed to protect the site from further environmental damage and ensure visitors' safety.

Updated On Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST 9 Photos
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Indigenous Anangu perform a traditional dance during a ceremony marking the permanent ban on climbing Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Indigenous Australians performed songs and traditional dance as the sun set over Uluru on Sunday, capping a weekend of celebrations to mark the historic ban on climbing the sacred site. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Indigenous Anangu perform a traditional dance during a ceremony marking the permanent ban on climbing Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Indigenous Australians performed songs and traditional dance as the sun set over Uluru on Sunday, capping a weekend of celebrations to mark the historic ban on climbing the sacred site. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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Tourists climb Uluru on Friday, the last day people were able to climb here. The ceremony was held two days after a final surge of tourists who had flocked to central Australia scaled the giant red monolith before its closure to climbers. (Lukas Coch / AAP via REUTERS)

Tourists climb Uluru on Friday, the last day people were able to climb here. The ceremony was held two days after a final surge of tourists who had flocked to central Australia scaled the giant red monolith before its closure to climbers. (Lukas Coch / AAP via REUTERS)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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The ceremony was held two days after a final surge of tourists had flocked to scale the giant red monolith before its closure to climbers. The ban, first announced in 2017, had long been sought by the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, whose connection to the site dates back tens of thousands of years. (Rob Griffith / AP)

The ceremony was held two days after a final surge of tourists had flocked to scale the giant red monolith before its closure to climbers. The ban, first announced in 2017, had long been sought by the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, whose connection to the site dates back tens of thousands of years. (Rob Griffith / AP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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A traditional Aboriginal owner of Uluru-Kata-Tjuta, in front of the Uluru. A crowd gathered late Friday at the base of the site to watch rangers erect the “permanently closed” sign, in line with the long-held wishes of indigenous Australians. “No more climbing today,” shouted indigenous elder Nelly Patterson. “Close it,” she yelled to a loud cheer from the crowd. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

A traditional Aboriginal owner of Uluru-Kata-Tjuta, in front of the Uluru. A crowd gathered late Friday at the base of the site to watch rangers erect the “permanently closed” sign, in line with the long-held wishes of indigenous Australians. “No more climbing today,” shouted indigenous elder Nelly Patterson. “Close it,” she yelled to a loud cheer from the crowd. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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A ranger (R) briefs a tourist (L) at the base of Uluru after the permanent ban on climbing the monolith. As well as respecting cultural practices, the ban is designed to protect the site from further environmental damage and ensure visitors’ safety. “We are all very happy, as traditional owners, that the climb is closed now, after a long fight from handback to today,” Reggie Uluru told reporters through an interpreter on Saturday. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

A ranger (R) briefs a tourist (L) at the base of Uluru after the permanent ban on climbing the monolith. As well as respecting cultural practices, the ban is designed to protect the site from further environmental damage and ensure visitors’ safety. “We are all very happy, as traditional owners, that the climb is closed now, after a long fight from handback to today,” Reggie Uluru told reporters through an interpreter on Saturday. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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Indigenous Anangu perform during a ceremony marking the permanent ban on climbing Uluru. Previously known as Ayers Rock, the site was officially returned to the Anangu in 1985. Signs at its base had implored visitors not to climb it, but they were regularly ignored by some, especially in recent months as thousands made last-minute ascents. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Indigenous Anangu perform during a ceremony marking the permanent ban on climbing Uluru. Previously known as Ayers Rock, the site was officially returned to the Anangu in 1985. Signs at its base had implored visitors not to climb it, but they were regularly ignored by some, especially in recent months as thousands made last-minute ascents. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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Indigenous Anangu perform a traditional dance during a ceremony marking the permanent ban. “I think it is important that mother nature has a bit of a break,” the last climber at Uluru, James Martin, said. “I would like to say to the Aboriginals that we are sorry and the world does indeed belong to every single person who was born on the planet,” the Australian told reporters as he came off the rock. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Indigenous Anangu perform a traditional dance during a ceremony marking the permanent ban. “I think it is important that mother nature has a bit of a break,” the last climber at Uluru, James Martin, said. “I would like to say to the Aboriginals that we are sorry and the world does indeed belong to every single person who was born on the planet,” the Australian told reporters as he came off the rock. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

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Anangu children play with a camera during the ceremony. Parks Australia added extra rangers on patrol over the weekend, with fines for those who attempt to summit the rock now reaching up to Aus$10,000 ($6,800). “Although we expect our visitors to respect the law and the wishes of traditional owners when they visit, significant penalties can be issued,” Parks Australia told national broadcaster ABC. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Anangu children play with a camera during the ceremony. Parks Australia added extra rangers on patrol over the weekend, with fines for those who attempt to summit the rock now reaching up to Aus$10,000 ($6,800). “Although we expect our visitors to respect the law and the wishes of traditional owners when they visit, significant penalties can be issued,” Parks Australia told national broadcaster ABC. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

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Work is expected to begin next week to remove a chain that was used by climbers to make the steep ascent. Tourists are still being encouraged to visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park where they can view the monolith from its base, walk around its perimeter and learn about its indigenous heritage at the cultural centre. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Work is expected to begin next week to remove a chain that was used by climbers to make the steep ascent. Tourists are still being encouraged to visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park where they can view the monolith from its base, walk around its perimeter and learn about its indigenous heritage at the cultural centre. (Saeed Khan / AFP)

Updated on Oct 29, 2019 10:02 AM IST
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