The Arahurahu marae, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Oceania (check out this map). 

Arahurahu is the only marae in all of Polynesia to have been fully restored, and is Tahiti’s best example of an ancient Polynesian temple and meeting place. During the July Heiva Nui celebrations Arahurahu is used for the reenactment of old Polynesian ceremonies. The stone pens near the entrance were once used to hold sacrificial pigs.

Here’s a useful segment from C. Lemoy’s 2011 publication Across the Pacific: From Ancient Asia to Precolombian America:

Ceremonial or religious centers (marae) were privileged places for the community and sacred sites that shared a common architectural model. Imposing structures were built by layering several plateaus, gradually forming a pyramid. The polynesians left vestiges on various islands, like the “Marae Arahurahu” or “Temple of Ashes” in Tahiti.

Its entry is guarded by demons, stone constructions or “Ahu”, and enigmatic statues or “Tikis”, anthropomorphic images of the creator or deified ancestor, having big eyes, thick lips and wide noses.

The ethnologist and Norwegian navigator Thor Heyerdahl highlighted astonishing similarities between Polynesian constructions and some dedicated to pre-Columbian gods.

Photos courtesy & taken by Pierre Lesage.

A marae is a sacred religious gathering place in Polynesian societies.
Here we can see Marae Maraetaata, which is located in the middle of a residential area on the west coast of Tahiti. Located in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia.
Photo courtesy & taken by Pierre Lesage.

A marae is a sacred religious gathering place in Polynesian societies.

Here we can see Marae Maraetaata, which is located in the middle of a residential area on the west coast of Tahiti. Located in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia.

Photo courtesy & taken by Pierre Lesage.

A turtle in Aboriginal rock art, Ubirr, East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Paintings from the site have been painted since 40,000 B.C.E., most are thought to be at least 2,000 years old. The art of the site depicts certain creation ancestors, as well as animals from the area (such as catfish, long-necked turtles, pig-nosed turtles, rock ringtail possums, and wallabies).

Rock painting had several functions in historic times. Images were created to increase the population of game animals or for use in magic. Depictions of important Dreaming beings are common, as well as secular paintings made for amusement. Although the original significance of Ubirr’s prehistoric images is unknown, they likely had similar functions. (met)

Photo courtesy & taken by nettispaghetti.

A turtle in Aboriginal rock art, Ubirr, East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Paintings from the site have been painted since 40,000 B.C.E., most are thought to be at least 2,000 years old. The art of the site depicts certain creation ancestors, as well as animals from the area (such as catfish, long-necked turtles, pig-nosed turtles, rock ringtail possums, and wallabies).

Rock painting had several functions in historic times. Images were created to increase the population of game animals or for use in magic. Depictions of important Dreaming beings are common, as well as secular paintings made for amusement. Although the original significance of Ubirr’s prehistoric images is unknown, they likely had similar functions. (met)

Photo courtesy & taken by nettispaghetti.

The Prehistoric Aboriginal cave art of the Grampians, Australia

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(Photos taken by me)

Here’s the write up of my trip to the Grampian Mountains in Victoria, Australia. I wrote it earlier this year, but as it was posted to my recently deleted personal blog, I thought i’d re-upload here seeing as it does primarily focus on the Prehistoric cave art there. 

19th Jan, 2013

“The Grampians” is a national park, about 235 kilometres west of Melbourne, which features some of the richest and oldest indigenous rock art in Australia and the world, as well as huge sandstone mountain ranges. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Australian state of Victoria, I think you’d be astounded how quickly (and dramatically) the environment changes. Driving from the huge, beautiful city of Melbourne (one of my personal favourite cities in the world), to the outback-like conditions of the Grampians and neighbouring areas, you would hardly believe that you were in the same country, let alone only a few hours west. In this account, I will be detailing my experience of travelling through the Grampians, information about the ancient art itself, and my personal tips/ suggestions for what to see there -it was certainly a very eventful experience indeed!

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The famous tattooed and preserved head of a Maori warrior.
The Rouen Museum of Natural History in France formally returned this artifact to the delegation of elders, New Zealand Embassy officials and representatives from Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum.
This is the culmination of years of legal wrangling in France. The head, a sacred cultural object to the Maori, was originally preserved as a reminder of a victory in battle. The tattoos indicate high rank and the heads of elaborately-tattooed warriors would be kept as prized objects by the winners.
You can read more about this artifact here

The famous tattooed and preserved head of a Maori warrior.

The Rouen Museum of Natural History in France formally returned this artifact to the delegation of elders, New Zealand Embassy officials and representatives from Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum.

This is the culmination of years of legal wrangling in France. The head, a sacred cultural object to the Maori, was originally preserved as a reminder of a victory in battle. The tattoos indicate high rank and the heads of elaborately-tattooed warriors would be kept as prized objects by the winners.

You can read more about this artifact here