Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/549

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IX
523
INITIATION CEREMONIES, EASTERN TYPE

1. Gurama, that is, "a hole," otherwise "a grave." At it one of the medicine-men dances the magical dance peculiar to these ceremonies, in which he squats down near to the ground while dancing, moving his legs alternately from one side to the other, at the same time swinging his arms perpendicularly in front of his body. He seems possessed by a sort of frenzy while doing this, and apparently brings up from within himself and exhibits between his teeth the Joïa peculiar either to himself or to the object exhibited or sung. In the case of the Guraua, the Joïa is a quartz crystal, which is considered to be one of the most deadly of the magical substances which the Gomeras receive from Daramulun.

2. Junnung-ga-batch. This is the figure of the spiny ant-eater made of earth, with sticks for quills. Here all the men stand round, and make a noise as if blowing something out of their mouths, and then shout whish to rouse the creature up, this being the sound made by them when digging it out of the ground. It is supposed to distract its attention from its burrowing out of sight in the ground. One of the medicine-men, while this is going on, dances round the figure, producing a white frothy substance out of his mouth having the appearance of soap. This is said to be a deadly Joïa if blown over a person or put into his food.

3. Murumbul. The figure of a brown snake[1] made of clay. At this stage one of the medicine-men, at the Bunan which I am now describing, dropped a small live brown snake from his mouth on to the ground while dancing, which he then picked up and held up before putting into his bag. This Joïa is said to be "very strong," and that the medicine-man having it can send it at night into people's camps to kill them while they sleep.

4. Daramulun. A figure the size, or more than the size, of life is made of earth in relief representing a man in the act of dancing the magic dance, and surrounded by the implements and weapons of the Yuin. These were, it is said, invented by Daramulun, and given by him to their fathers. Round this all the medicine-men dance, shouting

  1. Hoplocephalus sp.