Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Pacific art

View More:


Title

Ui mbo (sacred stone)

early 20th century
collected 1963


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

Cults associated with sacred stones were once prevalent throughout the highlands. Sacred stones included oddly shaped river rocks or unearthed objects created by ancient highlands cultures, such as mortars, pestles, club heads and zoomorphic figurines. Ancestral and other spirits resided in these earthly forms, establishing a direct link with the spiritual world. The Enga people believed sacred stones were handed down from the 'sky people' who came to earth and created mankind; others thought they were the petrified bones of the ancestors. Stored in ritual houses or buried at sacred sites, stones were 'fed' the blood or fat of pigs on ritual occasions.

Archaeologists believe prehistoric stone mortars were used to grind seeds and nuts for nourishment, and pigments for ceremonies.

[Exhibition text for 'Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands', AGNSW, 2014]


Details


Other Titles

Fertility (Mother), magic stone

Fertility stone


Cultural origin

Kakoli people


Dates

early 20th century
collected 1963


Media category

Ceremonial object


Materials used

stone, incised with diamond (uklimb) pattern, red ochre pigment


Dimensions

6.5 to 8 cm diameter; 21.5 cm length


Credit

Gift of Stan Moriarty 1978


Location

Not on display


Accession number

317.1978



Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Tony Tuckson, Aboriginal and Melanesian art, Sydney, 1973, 54. cat.no. H156; "Fertility (Mother) Stone. Diamond pattern incised all over, coloured red ochre".

Natalie Wilson (Editor), Plumes and pearlshells: art of the New Guinea highlands, Sydney, 2014, 70 (colour illus.), 160. cat.no. 17