In The Secret of the Tirthas, the demons and their followers are desperately seeking to capture the Artefacts of Power. These magical items have gained their power from the devotion of worshippers over the centuries.
Each Artefact in the story is based on a real life sacred object, from a different religious tradition. Here’s a list of them, with the culture or religion they came from:
Nkisi statue – a wooden figure from African shamanistic religion. People drove iron nails in to release the power of the ancestor spirit residing in it.
Hilili Kachina – a raindance doll with a snake hanging out of his mouth, from Native American culture.
Hilili Kachina doll (image: Creative Commons-BY; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 03.325.4648_threequarter_PS6.jpg)
The Holy Grail – a chalice containing the blood of Christ from the Last Supper, much pursued by medieval knights.
The Damsel of the Sanct Grael, Rossetti
Easter Island statue (maoi) – over 1,000 of these mysterious statues were constructed by the inhabitants of a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. All the statues look inland, away from the sea. It is thought they represented ancestors, guarding over the islanders.
Easter Island sculptures from the original Garden of Rooms in Herefordshire
Venus – the statue is based on the famous Venus of Hohle Fels, found in Germany and believed to be 40,000 years old. She was carved from mammoth tusk.
Venus of Hohle Fels (Image: Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons License: CC BY-SA 3.0)
Green Man – a figure from Western paganism, symbolising the regenerative, mysterious powers of Nature.
Green Man from a Herefordshire church
Other Artefacts in The Secret of the Tirthas:
Yingarna – a goddess of creation, who carried children from different Aboriginal tribes in her many bags.
Shiva Lingam – a holy symbol of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, carved from stone.
Buddha’s Tooth – there are several teeth relics of the Buddha, including a very famous one in Sri Lanka.