“Big Cat Warrior Tribal Choker”

Tooth, Bone and Bead Necklace

Made from recycled materials, cow bone, wooden beads and a pair of Giant Cat teeth.

 (Completed in 2007)

.:

“When you can speak your heart to the people – clearly and without fear – honour, bravery and victory are yours”.

.

Native Americans often crafted and wore jewelry carved from bone and horn parts.

The ‘Bone Choker’ provided physical protection of the neck and the jugular vein during battle and fighting in the hope to deflect an arrow shot at them by an enemy during war parties.

Bone chokers are also believed to provide spiritual protection of the voice.  It was said that the Spirit shall also provide a great speaking ability when wearing a properly made bone choker that always speaks the truth and guides the warrior to speak from the heart.

By wearing a bone choker, the spirits of the animal they come from were believed to provide protection from all kinds of troubles and even disease.

.

Bone chokers were originally made from bird leg bones.

“The spirit of the bird could be invoked to protect the person’s voice from ailments, jealousy or fatigue.  The bird was not always killed to make the chokers. Most often they were found after a predatory animal had already killed them or they had died a natural death. This was considered a good sign when found. Not only for the people who needed the chokers but for the bird, so it’s life would be of honor, value and service”.

.

I wear this choker for special, spiritual and ceremonial occasions, when I feel my voice needs to be true, strong and direct.

I made this originally from a recycled cow bone belt that I bought in Bali, during a Big Trip in 2001-02.

The belt sat with some other souvenirs in a box for many years, until I made a trip to Cambodia in 2007 and acquired the “Big Cat’s” Teeth.

.

The Cambodian trip was a solo trip that immediately followed a huge fight and subsequent breakdown of a relationship and business partnership.  I literally threw my passport, a pair of knickers and my credit cards into a bag and drove to the airport.  I guess I ran away… I was at my tethers end.

It was necessary at the time to throw myself to the mercy and wisdom of the Universe, alone and accepting.  I was in great emotional pain.

I wanted to re-find myself, to rediscover my TRUTH, VOICE and COURAGE and begin my life all over again.

.

The M Team with some of the kids.

.

When I consciously opened my heart to the universe and decided to throw myself into whatever opportunity arose, I had a chance meeting in a random guest house in Phenom Penn.

The very next day I began working with an independent mobile medical unit that delivered first aid and medical attention to the displaced refugees in a camp just outside the Cambodian capitol.  These refugees had been forced to live in pretty horrific, unsanitary conditions and the stories they told were heart breaking… as if this country hadn’t suffered enough under Pol Pot!!

I dressed woulds, administered meds and assisted the doctor with general & dental support. I chatted to the people and played with the children. I also was a blood donor and gatherer of other potential backpacker donors as Dengue Fever among the locals was claiming lots of lives and massive transfusions were needed, especially for the children.

Towards the end of my trip these large cat teeth were gifted by a toothless old man, as a Thank You.

Alas, despite feeling the love and warm emanating from his heart, I couldn’t understand the language so didn’t hear from what big cat these teeth came from… all I picked out was “BIG CAT”.

.

.

This trip reset my moral compass and reminded me of what I could achieve regardless of any relationship.

My “Big Cat Tribal Choker” necklace is a reminder to always act from the HEART and speak my TRUTH.

.

.

As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

.

.

.

.

.

Advertisements