The Story of the Stone Carrier
The Stone Carrier was created directly on site in a sacred and preserved place by a Maohi priest who taught Ari’is the science of matter and spirit. The ancients called it “Mana”, an inner power that gives access to effects in matter.
When I came to this remote and above all sacred “Tapu”, the priest kindly chased me away: “He taught how to lift monoi-coated stones with almost no effort at all, because they were lifted with a force other than that of the body. He taught the link between the inner presence of the being we are in another dimension, the heart (the key), the mind, the emotions (also linked to food), intention and letting go (or faith) to men born with a higher “Mana” potential than their own family.
He taught these men stone-carrying, spear-throwing and many other things that interested me greatly:
- because Polynesian ancestral knowledge was already in danger, I wanted to immortalize their knowledge
- because the science of the mind has always fascinated me.
So, I went back to Papeete and asked my friend and hairdresser to cut my beautiful long hair, and he told me I was crazy. I smiled, but I was determined to return to this almost magical place to draw and try to understand the teachings of this priest.
When I returned to their camp in the forest, I told the priest that I was the twin brother of the woman he had seen. He took a long look at me and accepted my proposal to stay for 40 days, like the 40 days of the caterpillar.
Those 40 days were days of incredible beauty and richness. But they were also days when I thought my secret couldn’t be kept, such as the pissing contests… I had to be very diplomatic, though!
There were moments of great laughter and great fear.
Finally the 40 days came to an end, I went to see the priest, and I told him that I was really ashamed of having lied, that his Art belonged to him it was as if I was stealing his soul, and the hearts of his “children”, I asked him to forgive me and I gave him all my work, drawings, inks and this oil canvas on cardboard.
He smiled and told me that when he saw me without my hair, he felt sorry for me. He told me he accepted because the “mana” told him to accept.
He took all my drawings and gave me back this one: the Stone Bearer to testify.
This Ari’i prince is carrying a stone weighing around 150 kgs, coated with monoÏ. He has to lift it and place it between his upper body and his knees in a fetal position.
The second step is to lift the stone towards the shoulder, and the third to push it downwards.
The symbolism of the Stone Carrier is a kind of philosophical teaching:
- Carry your life with gratitude, for it teaches you to respect the alignment and love of what’s inside and out, through body, mind (mana) and breath.
- Lift the weight of the teachings to learn to understand who you really are
- Let go with awareness, knowledge and faith (otherwise the stone may fall close to the body and break something).
This is one of the teachings the priest entrusted to me, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
When I got home, I went to see my friend Mr Jacquet at the Post Office in Papeete, and I showed him.
He asked me for a photo of the painting, but didn’t say anything.
A year later, I was in Martinique to help a relative, and I received my friend’s letter announcing that the Post Office had chosen the Stone Bearer to make a philatelic collection stamp (Polynesian stamps were real little lithographs)… the spirit of the priest? the Mana?
The gratitude in my heart fills up for this incredible and wonderful people: the Polynesians.