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Ninuku region Spinifex Country

Gwion


The name "Spiunifex Country" is given to the Spinifex Native Title Determination Area which covers 54 000 square kilometres of sandhill and Mulga country. The land area is diverse, with the Nullarbor plains to the south, spinifex bush and sandhill country to the north and a variety of land forms incorporating lakes, rocky outcrops, hills, valleys and open plains. The National Native Title Tribunal has prepared a map of the Spinifex Native Title region.

The region is one of the world's richest locations for lizard diversity and has a wide range of desert marsupials, birds, plants and insects. Many plant and animal species display unique adaptations to the demanding desert environment.

Rainfall in Spinifex Country is low (17 -23 cm per year) and very variable, falling mainly in summer storms. These storms quickly sweep across the plains, bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms, running water into rockholes and deep soaks. The long dry spells feature high temperatures (often above 45ºC for weeks on end), baking sun and hot wind - yet nights may fall below 0ºC.

Despite its rigours, this environment is available to provide resources to sustain those with the knowledge to access them. Of these resources, water is the most precious: rockholes, soaks, wells, certain trees, plants and even animals can be a supply to sustain life. Finding food and water for families in such a challenging environment requires a highly developed and intimate knowledge of the country and its seasons and cycles.

Work by artists of the Spinifex Art Project is available on our Spinifex Paintings pages.

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