About Papulankutja

Papulankutja is more commonly referred to as Blackstone.  Papulankutja Community is located north of the Blackstone Ranges, half way between Mantamaru and Irrunytju. The area around Blackstone contains some of the most significant sacred sites in the region.

Its residents have family ties to both are both Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjatjara language groups. Most of the Pitjantjatjara residents grew up at Ernabella Mission and the Ngaanyatjarra residents at Warburton Mission. As late as the 1960’s Native Patrol Officers were bringing in people from this region to the Warburton Mission. They were also reporting large numbers of people travelling from Ernabella Mission in SA through to the mining camp at Irrunytju and along the range country through Blackstone, Jameson and Warburton. The patrol officers were particularly concerned about these travellers during the dry season when the waterholes were becoming depleted. They reported their concerns to the Native Welfare Department who provided funding to establish bores and windmills along this travelling route. One of these bores was established in the vicinity of the Blackstone Community.

In the late 1950’s Southwestern Mining had their main headquarters and camp at Tollu, just south of the Blackstone Range. When the mining camp was abandoned, Yarnangu transported the remaining camp materials to the bore at Blackstone and thence began a new community. The community became incorporated in 1976.

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