Aboriginal Tjining - hairpin

Aboriginal Tjining - hairpin

Gogadja, Waldmadjiri, Djaru peoples
SE Kimberley - Western desert
Wood, ochre
38x5cm (15x2in)
1930 - 1950
inv # 786
sold


At first I thought this was a very interesting Tjurunga, however I have been told by Arthur B. Palmer that it is a Tjining. As you can see from the images it has three figures, two in the front and one on the back, this separates it from the carving patterns of the Tjurunga.
The lozenge incised pattern on the front indicates it is from the western desert region and that is where the similarities end. A small anthropomorphic naked figure is carved in relief at the top, with the bottom figure covered in ceremonial vegetable and feather body decoration. Both are linked with the medium bar through the centre of the body - this bar is only dotted to the half way point.
The large figure of the obverse is in the style of some rock art from the Kimberley area (a full bodied Wandjina type with legs and mouth??). This figure is certainly a creation ancestor hero of ritual significance.
These hair pins are serious men's ritual paraphernalia, with this design and three figures would have a ritual and magic role, or a more supernatural sanction function.
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