A new exhibition of “World of one item” is demonstrated in the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS beginning on February 19, 2008. It is devoted to one of the most interesting phenomena of primeval religion – Australian churinga.
The word churinga came into science from the Aranda (Arrernte) language. Usually this word is understood as flat stone or board with sacred signs carved on it. Churingas used to be an important part of Australians’ ritual life. According to their beliefs, these items belonged to ancestors of mythical Dreamtime. Meaning and substance of carved signs were revealed to youths as they passed mystery rituals.
Exposed churinga from Central Australia was received by MAE in 1908 along with other items from the collection of well-known researcher of culture of indigenous Australians B. Spencer. This is one of the most valuable collections of MAE’s Australian fund, which comprehensively reflects culture and way of everyday life of native inhabitants of Central Australia at the turn of XIX-XX centuries.
Public demonstration of sacred items was strictly limited and regulated in the culture itself. Showing sincere respect to national feelings of creators’ descendants, authors of exhibition seek for the most delicate way of exposing such items.
Author of exhibition – P.L. Belkov
Designers – V.I. Korotkov, N.L. Iltsen
Exhibition will be open until May 30, 2008.