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 ?
Emotional intensity is appropriated when initiates are made strong by the ritual pressing of tjurunga against the abdomen, flexibility being imparted through pounding this area with crystalline rocks to 'break it finely' and thereby 'untie the knots' that intense emotion produces (Baldwin Spencer and Francis Gillen 1966:142-3).
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.
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.
Moreover, when elderly Aranda men allowed their tjurunga to pass into Strehlow's hands in return for rations, it may not have been, as Strehlow imagined, because they were sceptical of their sons' ability to safeguard these Dreamings or in despair at what the future held, but a pragmatic recognition that the hunting and gathering economy of which the tjurunga were such a vital part was no longer their main source of sustenance.
Aranda people have understood pepa to be analogous to their own concept of 'sacred things' (tjurunga) as the transcribed Law of ancestral beings embodied in sacred sites and ritual objects.
This atua njaltja has always stayed around in the company of the tjurunga: for he is the constant guardian of the tjurunga.'
The object of the scene depicted is to establish the fact that Cowan was in the presence of an event that mirrors the popularly accepted image of Aboriginality: two scantily dressed, bearded old men squatting on a sacred site with their Tjurunga before them, chanting and tapping out a clap-stick rhythm.
A psychoanalytic interpretation of the core of the Indigenous mythopoiea thus reveals that: the whole of his [Arrernte creator being] journey is a constant straining towards reunion--as if the whole environment represented by the tjurunga is a mother to man (Roheim, 1945), with the path towards it presenting itself as a track made by phallic striving (Munn, 1973:194,200).
Earlier spelt as churinga (Spencer and Gillen 1899:123) and tjurunga as in Strehlow (1970:102).
Their bodies changed themselves into rocks, trees, shrubs or tjurunga made of stone or wood.