Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/208

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182
CH.
NATIVE TRIBES OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA

usually he who is given as the Pirrauru, takes sand from the ridge and sprinkles it over the upper part of his thighs; and, as the Dieri express it, buries the Pirrauru in the sand. In the case of two men who exchange their Noas as Pirraurus the same procedure is observed, and the ceremonies are completed in the evening. When these take place at mid-day, they are, so to say, in the family, the men being present; but when they are in the evening, all the people in the camp attend. In that case the two heads of totems stand opposite to each other, about 50 yards apart, and each holding two pieces of burning wood. The two pairs of Pirraurus are loudly announced by name, the whole assembly loudly repeats them, and the two pieces of wood are struck together.

But commonly it is not merely two pairs of Pirrauru who are allotted to each other, but the whole of the marriageable or married people, even those who have already Pirraurus, are re-allotted, the Kandri ceremony being performed for batches of them at the same time.[1]

When a man has a number of Pirrauru, the old men may recommend him to confine himself to one, and to let the others go, since otherwise there might be strife between the women, for jealousy attaches to the Pirrauru condition. Each of a pair of Pirrauru watches the other to prevent more Pirrauru relations arising. Each warns the other against forming any new relations, and if either disregards this injunction, red-hot coals are poured over him, or her, as the case may be. In modern times boiling water takes the place of hot coals, but such punishments are often inflicted by either party on mere suspicion. Such a case was the following. A Urabunna man was sitting in the camp talking with a woman who was Nadada-noa to him. Meanwhile Kapaliana, his Pirrauru, returned, and having prepared his supper, called him. Of this, however, he tool no notice, and went on talking. Then without further ado she poured a bowl of hot coals over him.

The saying of one of the old Dieri men is worth quoting, as showing what his feeling was to his Pirrauru

  1. Otto Siebert.