Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/546

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520
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NATIVE TRIBES OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA

would accompany those from Moruya. With them, people from Broulee would occasionally come. Next would arrive those from Queanbeyan, then the Gurungatta from beyond Shoalhaven, with whom there might be even some from Jervis Bay; and all these people are true Kurial.

The Wollngong people did not attend this ceremony, because they go to one farther up the coast. The people from Twofold Bay would arrive about the same time, and bring with them some of the Bemeringal from the country along the coast range, being some of those living to the east of the Ngarigo.

The limits within which people would come may be roughly stated as Jimberoo, Kangaroo Valley, Nowra; but at this latter place were Bemeringal, that is, those who lived upon the high tableland, who went to the ceremonies at Goulburn. Nor did the Bemeringal come to these ceremonies from as great a distance as the country of the Ngarigo.

The Bunan ground being prepared by the initiated men, the ceremonies are commenced by a young man, who was initiated at the last Kuringal, and who is therefore selected to commence this. Walking past a log near the camp, he starts back as if in surprise, and shouts out "Gari! gari!" that is, "A snake, a snake!"[1] The men also, pretending surprise, run up to him, saying: "Where is it?" He replies, "In this log," and pretends to be afraid, calling out, "Kai! kai!" as we might say, "Oh! Oh!" and as a child might do if frightened. He then runs off, and all the men run after him in a long line. Each man has a bough in either hand, or, as I have seen, some of the leading men have a boomerang in one hand instead. The young man, with a bough in each hand, runs a sinuous course, and strikes the ground alternately on the right and the left, with a swaying motion of the body. The men following him as a tail exactly imitate his movements, shaking their boughs with a rustling sound alternately on either side, and shouting at each blow, "Hai! Hai!" The leader and all his following halt at each camp, making a sound which can only be

  1. Gari means a snake of any kind.