Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 20, 1909.djvu/551
a chance of running into the water. The Yarroma then started off to get his comrade to come and help him to carry the dead man to their camp, so that they might cook and eat him. He wished, however, to make quite sure that the man was dead before he left him, so he walked a little distance and returned, but the man lay perfectly still. The Yarroma got a stalk of grass and tickled the man's feet, but the latter remained quiet; then the Yarroma tickled the man's nose with the grass, but the man did not move a muscle. Finally the Yarroma took a bull-dog ant, and made it sting him, but still the man never flinched. The Yarroma then, thinking the man was certainly dead, started off for help, and, when he got a sufficient distance away, the man, seeing his opportunity, got up and ran into the water close by, and swam to the opposite side. His friends, who happened to come there just at that time, waved burning sticks in the air, and the Yarroma dived into the ground and vanished from their sight.
2. The Wahwee.—The Wahwee, a serpent-like monster, lives in deep waterholes, and burrows into the bank beneath the level of the water, where he makes his den. He has a wife and a son, but they camp in a different place. A "doctor" or clever black-fellow can sometimes go and see a Wahwee, but on such occasions he must paint himself all over with red ochre. He then follows after the rainbow some day when there is a slight shower of rain, and the end of the rainbow rests over the waterhole in which is the Wahwee's abode. On reaching this waterhole, the man dives in under the bank, where he finds the Wahwee, who conducts him into the den, and sings him a song which he never heard before. He repeats this song many times in the presence of the Wahwee, until he has learnt it by heart, and then starts back to his own people. When they see him coming, painted and singing a new song, they know he has been with the Wahwee, and a few of the other head-men and clever fellows take him into the adjacent bush, where they strip pieces of bark off trees, on which they paint different devices in coloured clays. All the people of the tribe are then mustered, and these ornamented pieces of bark are taken to the corroboree ground, where everyone sings and dances. This is how new songs and corroborees are obtained.
Parramatta, N.S. Wales.