Moki Balls & Mother Rock

moki ballsWhat treasures we find in the desert – fossils, little bones, seed pods, and now Moki balls.

moki grps 1

These round, slightly heavy balls are scattered over large areas amidst the creosote and juniper.  They can be pea-sized to ping-pong ball sized, whole or split.  Officially, they are iron oxide concretions.  A young man in town insists there was a ball bearing factory out there and these are just left over ball bearings!  (Not true.)

Hole left by Moki ball.

Hole left by Moki ball.

Moki (also spelled Moqui) balls are ascribed magical powers – they can be purchased online and I think having this magic makes the price go up!  I don’t know about the magic, but they have a nice heft to them – weighty, not smooth, but nice to hold.

moki mother insitu

Moki balls still embedded in rock.

We also found what we call the Moki ball mother rock – sometimes with round holes where the moki ball used to be and sometimes with the dark iron oxide ball still embedded.  The brilliant oranges and yellows are stunning.

moki sunburst rock

Mother rock – Moki ball is gone!


moki sculpture 2

This is my kind of sculpture!

moki shell sculpture


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2 Responses to Moki Balls & Mother Rock

  1. I learned something today – thanks!

  2. beeseeker says:

    Truly fascinating! The photosgraphs are essential to understanding this phenomenon and I learned something new; but also, rather irreverently, am imagining these being loaded into a blunderbuss in some cartoon strip – my apologies for planting that image.

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