Churinga

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Churinga

 

a sacred object of certain Australian tribes. Churingas are flat, decorated pieces of wood or stone that were kept in special hiding places and used in religious rites. They were regarded as totemic incarnations. Ornamented pebbles similar to churingas have been uncovered at habitation sites of the Mesolithic Azilian culture.

References in periodicals archive ?
Warlpiri men had been convinced of the need for the Museum, partly by fears that their tjurunga (4) were in danger of being stolen by gold prospectors and sold as curiosities.
The Men's Museum's most sacred tjurunga came to be stored beyond the view of visitors, in locked metal cabinets standing in two small side rooms.
Stockton has the Aboriginal story of the youth who went beyond himself and changed the tjurunga and thus in effect changed something in the past.
At every mile along the way in these early journeys, Strehlow was conjuring those nightmares as he found himself collecting tjurunga--nightmares because, as he was to write, the tjurunga were the most treasured possessions.
Mythen, Sagen und Marchen des Loritja-Stammes in Zentral Australien & die Totemistischen Vorstellungen und die Tjurunga der Aranda und Loritja.
Morton cites the classic ethnographies of the Arrernte where the newborn child is said to cry because it misses its TJURUNGA (sacred board) it had to leave behind upon entering the mother's womb as a spirit child.
Their bodies changed themselves into rocks, trees, shrubs or tjurunga made of stone or wood.
Compare also the range of meanings listed for tjurunga by Strehlow (9147:85-86).
Maddock 1991), housed in Australian and overseas museums, which Europeans generically refer to (using an Aranda term) as tjurunga but which are known to Indigenous peoples in Australia by a number of localised names.
The concept of sacredness is, however, important in Weiner's argument about inalienable possessions, whose cosmological authenticity derives from their links to gods or ancestors, creating objects such as Aboriginal tjurunga or Maori feather cloaks.
These were mainly carved stone or wooden tjurungas, called 'corroboree stones', for sale to southern collectors and museum collections.