Yipirinya means ‘caterpillar’ in Arrernte and the school takes its name and ethos from the Caterpillar Jukurrpa [Dreaming] – or “Dreamtime Story” – of the Arrernte people of Mparntwe [Alice Springs].
“That’s real ayeparenye country – theayeparenye caterpillar was always in Mparntwe country. And that place called Henley on Todd, that is called Tyuretye. Theayeparenye caterpillar came from Urlatherrke – Mount Zeil – and went straight to Anthwerrke – Emily Gap. Anthwerrke is the name of Emily Gap. It climbed up in this direction, then others came through from Arturle to Thararle Tneme. Thararle Tneme is where the bridge and the causeway is – it’s known as Sadadeen Point. All of those shady river red gum trees are another group ofayeparenye caterpillars … They came from Apmakweng [Central Mount Stuart] to Akangkarle Arrerneke. From there to Mpwetyerre – where there is that little rock lying down there, where the Casino is built – there was lots of saltbush there, during ration time.
The old man ayeparenye climbed up to the top of Mount John – and then fell right back down again. He climbed up and up and up, and at the top of the range he felt really happy – that is why the place is called Akangkarle Arrerneke [akangkeme ‘happy’]. Another group of ayeparenye caterpillars came from Arturle and went to the other side of Thararle Tneme and then turned around – they were travelling in from the east… Heavitree Gap is Arlperenye Beetle Dreaming, and the other area is Ayeparenye Dreaming. The ayeparenyewent past two sand hills and then they went towards Heavitree Gap, where the arlperenyebeetle was. The arlperenye beetle chopped [all their heads off], and then they went on to Apanparle-irreke, then to Amoonguna plain. That’s why it’s everybody’s four corners – everybody’s four corners.
The utnerrengatye caterpillar [also] came from Apmakweng [Central Mount Stuart]. It tried hard to climb up the range – he wanted to climb up and have a look. Well he climbed up and then fell back down again. Then he went over there to Anthwerrke [Emily Gap] and he saw Tyantwenge, standing there – old woman granny, old Rita Tyantwenge, standing there. The small sharp rock there is the old woman herself. Well from there he put his head down and went out of the Gap and he saw a group of caterpillars lined up and going towards Heavitree Gap. On the Ntaripe plain the arlperenye beetle, old Sid Ross [a well respected Arrernte man from Alice Springs], forced them to turn back, and they went towards Apanparle-irreke and Amoonguna. That plain there.”
Excerpt from “The Town Grew Up Dancing” by Kwementyaye W Rubuntja.