Kurdaitcha Shoes – Aranda Tribe
Medium: Emu feathers, Human hair
Dimensions: L. 9.5
Origin: Aranda Tribe, Central Desert, Northern Territory, Australia
Provenance: James Pongrass Collection, James Davidson Collection, Melbourne, Australia
Davidson was a well known collector and author on numerous works on Aboriginal and Pacific Island Art.
Exhibited: Private Museum, Xiamen, China 2011
The kurdaitcha may be brought in to punish a guilty party by death. The word may also relate to the ritual in which the death is willed by the kurdaitcha man, known also as bone-pointing. The word may also be used by Europeans to refer to the shoes worn by the Kurdaitcha, which are woven of feathers and human hair and treated with blood. Among traditional Indigenous Australians there is no such thing as a belief in natural death. All deaths are considered to be the result of evil spirits or spells, usually influenced by an enemy. Often, a dying person will whisper the name of the person they think caused their death. If the identity of the guilty person is not known, a "magic man" will watch for a sign, such as an animal burrow leading from the grave showing the direction of the home of the guilty party. This may take years but the identity is always eventually discovered. The elders of the mob that the deceased belonged to then hold a meeting to decide a suitable punishment. A Kurdaitcha may or may not be arranged to avenge them. (From Wikipedia).