Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/263

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234
CAWARRA CEREMONIES.

Sydney, where the boys are always deprived of their front teeth, do not seem to be so averse to the whites witnessing their ceremonies, which differ considerably from what I have just described.

In their mode of going through the ceremony, the boys being assembled together, and the whole tribe mustered for the occasion, a party of men armed and painted, advanced into the Cawarra ground, with loud shouts and clattering of their arms, and seized, one by one, the boys who were to undergo the operation. The latter were then placed together on the Cawarra ground, where they were to pass the night in perfect silence; in the meantime the other natives danced and sang furiously, whilst the doctors or "corradjees" went through a most ridiculous scene, groaning and contorting themselves in every position until they at length pretended to be delivered of some bones, which were subsequently used to cut open the gums of the boys before striking out their teeth. Next day the boys were brought into the centre of the Cawarra ground, whilst the other blacks performed various ridiculous antics around them in imitation of various animals. Sticking their boomerangs vertically in their opossum-skin belts, so as to bear some resemblance to the tail of the native dog, they ran on all fours past the boys, throwing up dust, whilst the latter remained motionless, with downcast eyes. They next fastened to their girdles long pieces of twisted grass, to resemble the tail of