The Chamorro name for sling stone is acho' atupat (or atupak) and produced them in the Latte Period/Phase (1000-250 BP). History books describe them as egg or acorn-shaped stones fashioned with “jasper-like” stone, or with sun or fire-hardened clay. People now use the words biconical or football-shaped to describe them. The ancient people wielded them with deadly accuracy.
The biconical shape of the Chamorro sling stone is supposed to be state of the art as compared to sling stone designs from other parts of the world. Here is an article about some archaeologists studying them. I though, that they come in more shapes than what has already been described. Some are more like flattened deflated footballs and others have one side that is flat.
The Flag of Guahan has an acho' atupat.
I believe that making a sling stone required a good deal of artistic ability from selecting the right materials to the fashioning of the shape and the polishing of the final stone. This fascination fueled my desire to experiment in making my own sling stone replicas using modern tools. I had to do a bit of research, into cutting, grinding and polishing limestone. Then I had to buy materials and tools that would make my labor easier. Even though I used modern tools, it was still a labor-intensive effort which most of the times left my entire body dusty, sweaty and sore. Most of the soreness was in my shoulders, arms and hands from handling the materials. In the end though, the results I was getting was all worth it!I made the replicas a bigger than actual sling stones so that they could be used as decorative pieces. Here is one I fashioned right next to the sling stone I modeled the shape after (9.3cm:4.7cm). I found that one in Pau Pau Beach and I describe the shape as biconical with a flat side.
The stones that I have been using are coral limestones that I found to be full of character either in shape or color. I got the original stone from Wing Beach and lucked out that it is a chalcedony. The calcite and aragonite from sea creatures like coral and shells were buried, compressed and heated under the earth to be fused and turned into microscopic quartz crystals. When I was grinding it the cream, orange and brick colors of the rock was apparent, and when I finally polished it, the true beauty of the colors and patterns came out.
A special bonus was also revealed in the stone! A spiral pattern of a long ago marine snail that was amalgamated in the rock matrix revealed itself! You can clearly see the shell’s whorl on the face of the polished stone. What a beautiful fossil! It immediately reminded me of the koru.
I found this beautiful koru in Pohnpei going up to Sokhe's Rock.
The koru is the unfurled fern frond that is often used in Māori art as a symbol of creation. The spiraling shape suggests the idea of continuous movement, and its inner coil hint to a return to the point of origin.
The koru thus symbolizes the way which life changes and also stays the same. It therefore also symbolizes new life, growth, strength, purity, peace, tranquility and spirituality along with a strong sense of regrowth or new beginnings.
The koru is also often associated with nurturing, frequently used to represent the strength and purity of a loving relationship within a family.
It is only the second month of the year. It is almost the third. There have been a lot of changes surrounding my life especially what I felt were permanent fixtures in my job. I'll be honest and say that I do not deal with change very well (esp. when it comes to my circle of people). The koru reminds me to be flexible and accepting of change. If there is no change in life then life itself ceases and desists. Life goes on.