Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/577

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IX
551
INITIATION CEREMONIES, EASTERN TYPE

had gone there also for mine, and I broke the rule which forbids washing the person during the Kuringal ceremonies.

After breakfast the dances recommenced vigorously. The sequence was Katir (dance), Yiramil (teeth), and a pantomimic dance for which the men covered themselves with boughs. It was called Ngadjigar (bushes), and was followed by a magic ring, in which the Gommeras danced and exhibited their Joïas. Then occurred one of the periodic rushes of these men to the novices, and the transference of the magical influence to them, followed by the three emphatic words, "Wah! Huh! Wah!" with the downward motion of the outstretched hands.

The novices were told to go and sit down by their fire. The day's ceremonies had been commenced and the old men had a consultation as to the further course to be pursued. One of the principal old men had had a dream in the night. It was that the Kurnai had arrived since our departure, and that as we had left and commenced the Kuringal without them, they would follow the old law and "kill our women."

This seemed to impress some of the others, and a discussion arose. One man said that he was sure that the dream was true, because his nose had been itching all night, which was a sign that strangers were coming to the camp. Another man said that during the night a log on his fire had "sung out," which is one of the omens with these people foretelling the arrival of strangers.

The arranged programme was that we should remain in camp another day, go out hunting for food, and in the evening repeat the programme of the night before. Then on the next morning we should finish and return to the camp, or rather go to the new camp, which the women were to make. Such being the case, I said that, as my time was short, we would finish the ceremonies that day, and return in the afternoon to the new camp.

This being settled, we recommenced with the Crow dance, after which all the men formed a ring round the Talmaru fire, and shouting "Yah! Yah! Yah! Prr! Prr! Prr! Wah! Wah! Wah!" scratched leaves, sticks, rubbish, earth over it till it was completely covered up.