Page:Aboriginesofvictoria02.djvu/251

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233
NOTES AND ANECDOTES.

around. There they bake their opossums, kangaroos, lizards, fish, frogs, roots, and whatever else they may have taken during the day.

These ash-heaps vary in size from ten to one hundred feet in diameter, and from a few inches to eight or ten feet in height, depending on their age, the frequency of their use, and the number of persons resorting to them. They doubtless conceal many lost stone hatchets and other implements and ornaments.

I subjoin a sketch (Fig. 247) of some large mirnyongs which occur at the outlet of Lake Connewarren, about five miles south-west from Mortlake, in the County of Hampden, Victoria.

FIG. 247

"Native ovens" are called by the natives of the Werribee, Goorung;[1] of Fiery Creek, Tallum; of the Lower Avoca, Bolap; of Mount Emu, Moomung; and by others Mirnyong ; in which they bake eels, roots, &c.

No. 1 is 102 by 90 feet in diameter, 310 feet in circumference, 8 feet high from the east side, and 6 feet from the west side.

No. 2 is 104 by 99 feet in diameter, 318 feet in circumference, and 5 feet high.

No. 3 is 96 by 84 feet in diameter, and 3 feet high.

No. 4 is 87 by 75 feet in diameter, 3½ feet high on east, and 2 feet high on the west side.

There are no trees within about 200 yards.

They must be of great antiquity, for there is but little firewood in the vicinity, and only small fires would suffice to cook the eels taken from the adjacent lagoon. It abounds with large eels, and a few years ago, when the flood-waters overflowed, the eels escaped from their overcrowded breeding basin

  1. A parish near Ballnn is named Gorong.