Central Desert Australia Wood Churinga-Oceanic Tribal Art
While Australian wooden churingas are some of the most elegant and aesthetically sophisticated objects from Oceania, I find that I am now most attracted to ones that are the most ancient and vary considerably from the known classic. As with the present example, I prefer the wider oval shape with ancient red surfaces. Instead of the expected series of concentric circles this one has an organic, tree-like design with muscular curved branches of parallel lines—almost flexing with strength. The churinga dates to the late 19th century, was originally collected in the Northern Territory by one of the first road graders working in the 1940s. The piece is 13 3/8” (34 cm) in height.