Each spirit, as it quits its nanja or natural haunt to enter the mother, drops a churinga, a slab of stone or wood marked with the child's totem and containing its spirit attributes.
The literal sense of the term churinga, applied by the Central Australians to their sacred objects, and likewise used more abstractly to denote mystic power, as when a man is said to be " full of churinga," is " secret," and is symptomatic of the esotericism that is a striking mark of Australian, and indeed of all primitive, religion, with its insistence on initiation, its exclusion of women, and its strictly enforced reticence concerning traditional lore and proceedings.
To appreciate the consecrating effect of religion on primitive life we have only to look to the churinga-worship of the Central Australians (as described by Spencer and Gillen in The Native Tribes of Central Australia and The Northern Tribes of Central Australia).
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