Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/723

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XI
697
MESSAGE-STICKS

messenger. The illustration, Fig. 43, No. 5, represents one of these sticks, which was made to convey an invitation from the Headman of the Gromilluk horde to the Yarik-kulluk horde at Lake Coorong, both being local divisions of the Wotjobaluk tribe. All the people were invited to attend. The three notches at the upper end on the right-hand side show the sender and his friends, who were the principal Gromilluk men. The large notch represents the Yarik-killuk horde and its Headman, to whom the message was sent. The notches continuing along the edge to the end and along the other edge indicate all the people of the horde being invited.

The oldest man having made such a message-stick, hands it to the next oldest man, who inspects it, and, if necessary, adds some further marks and gives corresponding instructions. Finally the stick, having passed from one to the other of the old men, is handed to the messenger, who has been duly told off for this duty, and he is informed at the same time when the visitors will be expected to arrive. The enumeration of the days, or the stages of the journey of the visitors, is made in the following manner. Commencing at one little finger, the enumeration is as follows:—

1. Giti-munya, or little hand, that is, the little finger.

2. Gaiup-munya, from gaiup, one, and munya, a hand; the third finger.

3. Marung-munya, from Marung, the desert pine (Callitris verucosa). The middle finger, being longer than the others, is like that tree, which is taller than the other trees growing in the Wotjo country.

4. Yollop-yollop-munya, from yollop, to point or aim at; thus yollop-bit, the act of aiming a spear, as by the forefinger being used as a throwing-stick; the fore-finger.

5. Bap-munya, from bap, mother, therefore mother of the hand; the thumb.

6. Dart-gur, from dart, a hollow, and gur, the fore-arm; the hollow formed by the end of the radius and the wrist.

7. Boi-bun, a small swelling, i.e. the swelling of the flexor muscle of the fore-arm.

8. Bun-dari, a hollow, i.e. the inside of the elbow-joint.

9. Gengen-dartchuk, from gengen, to tie, and dartchuk,