A Fine Western Australian Aboriginal Wood Sacred Tjuringa

A Fine Western Australian Aboriginal Wood Sacred Tjuringa

1800 to 1900 Australia

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A Fine Western Australian Aboriginal Wood Sacred Tjuringa of unusual height
A ‘dancing board’
19th Century

Size: 152.5cm long, 10cm wide – 60 ins long, 4 ins wide
cf Finch and Co catalogue no. 4, item no. 134, Finch and Co catalogue no. 5, item no. 54, and Finch and Co catalogue no. 7 item no. 118 for other examples
Kept carefully wrapped in bark in a special store when not in use sacred boards ‘Tjuringa’ embody the totemic spirits of its owner, his ancestors and those of the creator spirits. A general belief held by all Aboriginal Australians is that the spirit or life essence at the death of the totemite, both human and otherwise, returns to its spirit home in a water hole, rock, tree, the sky or a symbol like a Tjuringa. The linear incisions drawn on its surface refer to myths, maps of the landscape, animals and their tracks, and would be interpreted to male initiates by the tribal elder and owner to explain tribal traditions and legends.
The totemic design of an angular meander pattern on this Tjuringa places it in the area of Broome and the western Kimberley’s. These rare tall Tjuringa from this district are known as ‘dancing boards’.
Dimensions
Height 152.50 cm (60.04 inches)
Width 10.00 cm (3.94 inches)
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