A slightly more detailed version was also published in Spencer and Gillen (1912:267) Across Australia the same year, where Spencer claimed to have described Howitt and Fison as men 'who could send out Churinga
[sacred objects] and make boys into men'.
We also knew that the return of a particularly significant churinga
would exacerbate these troubles and probably lead to physical violence.
Earlier spelt as churinga
(Spencer and Gillen 1899:123) and tjurunga as in Strehlow (1970:102).
I would not have had it happen for 100 [pounds sterling] and I am going to write to Cowle about the Churinga
business, there must be no more ertatulnga robberies.
Though in the myths some Ancestors were killed or disappeared beyond the boundaries of the people who sang about them, and others were metamorphosed as physiographic features (for example, a rocky outcrop or a waterhole) or manifested as or through sacred ritual objects usually of wood or stone (in Aranda tywerrenge, anglicized churinga
), their essential quality remains undiminished.
It becomes a form of "churinga
": a totemic object used in group rituals (Durkheim 1995: 118-122).
*** I have printed a set of the Echunpa [perentie] pictures for Sambo and have had a neat shallow tin case made to hold them and they are to be taken and deposited with the Churinga
in the Ertnatulinga [storehouse cave] shortly.
At each of these spots...certain number of the Alcheringa ancestors went into the ground, each one carrying his Churinga
[board] with him.
In central Australia, clan religious life frequently involves an object called a churinga
; Durkheim notes that similar objects exist in the north (the nurtunja) and in the south (the waninga), and he describes the latter as closely resembling a flag (EFRL: 123-125).
In this sense, the churinga
ilkinia (atywerrenge-designs) would fall into the former.
Gillen's letters jump from subject to subject; from species of frog, to marriage classes, to mineral investment and churinga
. He is as anxious to have his name associated with a new natural species as he is to be the author of a new interpretation of variations in marriage classes or the significance of churinga
The loss of Churinga
is the most significant evil that could befall any local group' (Jones 1992:118 (9)), no effort had been made to restore possession since 1897 when Gillen had confessed to him that 'there must be no more ertatulnga robberies.