Page:Australian race - vol 1.djvu/348

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BOOK THE THIRD.

PREFATORY REMARKS.

This book treats of the tribes which dwell on, or are adjacent to, the west coast of the continent, from a little north of the mouth of the De Grey River to Albany, a distance of about 1,500 miles. Their relatedness is proved by their agreements in language and customs. The tribes which bound them inland, several of which bear the name of Menung or Meening, are hostile to them. These inland tribes practise circumcision and the terrible rite, both of which are unknown amongst those which form the subject of this book.

It is to be noticed that many of the West Coast tribes use, instead of the common Australian tomahawk, an instrument which consists of a piece of flint fixed with gum on to the end of the wommera, or chisel fashion into a cleft in the end of a stout stick, which, nevertheless, appears under the name of tomahawk in my vocabularies. These tribes display a closer intimacy in language and customs than is met with in any other portion of Australia of similar extent. In several of their languages the words bone and spear are from one root.


No. 8.—THE MOUTH OF THE DE GREY RIVER.

THE NGURLA TRIBE.

By Charles Harper, Esq.

Two accounts of the Ngurla tribe (each comprising a vocabulary of their language which agree well together) have reached me. One of them was forwarded by the