From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

corrobboree. Kar-ween spoke to Waung (the Crow), and asked him to make a corrobboree. And many crows came, and they made a great light in the air, and they sang—

Targo Barra Targo,
Burra mene long-go,

Whilst they were thus singing, Bund-jel danced. Kar-ween took a spear and threw it at him, and wounded him a little in the leg, but not in such a manner as to hurt Bund-jel much. Bund-jel, however, was very angry, and he seized a spear and threw it at Kar-ween. It was so well thrown that it went through the joint of Kar-ween's thigh. And Kar-ween could walk about no more. Kar-ween became sick. He became as lean as a skeleton, and thereupon Bund-jel made Kar-ween a Crane, and that bird was thereafter called Kar-ween.

race. . . . Men, women, and children do not vary in the slightest degree in this account of their creation."

There are many superstitions of the Dieyerie tribe and of the neighbouring tribes near Cooper's Creek (lat. 27° S.) which are interesting. Mr. Gason describes the ceremonies performed when the blacks desire the wild-fowl to lay eggs; and refers to those practised when they wish for a plentiful supply of wild dogs, an abundance of snakes, for more strength to their young men, and the like. These ceremonies are, however, not over-cleanly in their character. "When it is a bad season for iguanas (Koppirries), one of the principal articles of their food, some of the natives proceed to make them. This ceremony is not observed by the Dieyerie; but as they are invariably invited and attend, I think it proper to describe it. On a day appointed, they sit in a circle, when the old men take a few bones of the leg of the emu, about nine inches long, and sharpened at both ends. Each old man then sings a song, while doing so piercing his ears, first one and then the other, several times, regardless of the pain, if not insensible to it. I add the song, which is not in the Dieyerie dialect, and a translation of it:—

Pa-pa-pa. Kirra-a. Lulpara-na.
Mooloo Kurla parcha-ra. Willy oo lana
Mathapootana murara Thidua-ra Mindieindie

Translation—'With a boomerang we gather all the iguanas from the flats and plains, and drive them to the sandhills; then surround them, that all the male and female iguanas may come together and increase.' Should there be a few more iguanas after the ceremony than before, the natives boast of having produced them; but if they are as scarce as previously, they have their customary excuse, that some other tribe took away their power. The iguana is supposed to be a conductor of lightning, and during a thunderstorm all these reptiles are buried in the sand. And should auy natives become grey, or have much hair on the breast when young, it is supposed to be caused by eating the iguanas when children.

"There are places covered by trees which are held very sacred—the larger ones being supposed to be the remains of their fathers metamorphosed. The natives never hew them, and should the settlers require to cut them down, they earnestly protest against it, asserting they would have no luck and themselves might be punished for not protecting their ancestors."—The Dieyerie Tribe, by Samuel Gason, 1874.

The Maories give this account of the making of man:—"Of Tiki little is preserved; his great work was that of making man, which he is said to have done after his own image. One account states that he took red clay and kneaded it with his own blood, and so formed the eyes and limbs, and then gave the image breath. Another, that man was made of clay and the red-ochreous water of swamps, and that Tiki bestowed both his own form and name upon him, calling him Tiki-ahua, or Tiki's likeness. . . . . Some traditions say that Tiki is a woman; but the general idea is the contrary."—Te Ika A Maui, by the Rev. Richard Taylor, M.A., 1870, pp. 117-18.