Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/95

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82 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

Neptune. These prongs are for the most part pointed with a fish-bone, this being the sharpest and most suitable material within the reach of the aborigines. The fishing-spear, as the name implies, is used for the purpose of spearing fish, a use for which it is admirably adapted. This weapon is employed by the aboriginal either in canoes, on the banks of the rivers, or standing in the water watching for his finny prey. When the fish appear the spear is noiselessly approached to within a few inches of the intended victim, and then darted with a precision and force which seldom fail to result in lifting the fish out of its native element. This weapon, as well as the former ones, is always ornamented more or less elaborately, according to the taste or skill of the owner, by having rings or projections left at regular intervals along the shaft, and by various other carvings and figures. Of clubs or waddies the aborigines construct several descriptions. One kind common among them appears to be merely a sapling or branch with a natural knob, hardened by some process, and slightly cut or notched, so as to give it some degree of proportion and ornament. Another sort of waddy is formed of a very hard description of wood, more elaborately worked than the former, with an elongated quadrangular head, terminating in a very sharp point, which would lead to the belief that it is used as a rapier as well as a truncheon. A third waddy is made somewhat shorter than the last, of a similar species of wood; the head of this, however, is