'Morning Star Poles' are painted and decorated Aboriginal poles with lengths of string attached to them that are used in ceremonies, dancing, song cycles and various ritual events that allow people to communicate with their ancestors.
In his book Aboriginal Art (Phaidon Press London: 1998), Howard Murphy describes Morning Star Poles as, “...having a form reminiscent of the European maypole, representing the strings that are used by the spiritual beings who pull the star into the dawning sky from its home...over the horizon. The Morning Star Pole is associated with mortuary rituals and ceremonial exchange. Most clans of the Dhuwa [people] have their own version of the ceremony...but there are a number of themes in common...During the day the star is kept in a woven dilly bag (at the bottom of the pole) and each night it is let out from the bag. The star is held by a piece of string which slowly releases it into the sky but never allows it to escape. At dawn the string is pulled in and the star returns to its bag. The Morning Star moves from place to place on its journey.”
My Morning Star Poles follow the artistic, but not the spiritual, Aboriginal tradition. Each one has a small star attached to it -- but the star is not kept in a dilly bag – as well as feathers, twigs, pieces of bark, fur, pods, beads and other things attached to it. My first series consists of 18 Morning Star Poles. You can see them here...starting with one Pole, then a second Pole...and continuing until there are all 18 Morning Star Poles. And then -- as a Special Morning Star "Bonus" -- you can see 2 photos of me and my Morning Star Poles.