Page:Ethnological studies (Roth).djvu/118

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or yung-un when obtained from water-covered mud, and lul-ka-rin when got out of dry mud. The Pitta-Pitta, Wonkajera and Kalkadoon apply the terms too-rool-ha, too-roo-ka, hoo-joo-roo respectively to express the animal.

121. Frogs are eaten everywhere, and partaken of, roasted. In the Boulia District three kinds are eaten: the big bull-frog, ta-ral-ho, from 4½ to 5 inches long; a smaller variety, koon-pa, about 3½ inches, and a still more diminutive species ne-ma-ka, about 2½ inches long. True green-frogs do not appear to be used as articles of diet. These creatures are dug up from their burrows, the particular surface indications and tracks being well-known to them, by means of yam-sticks, &c., in hard ground, or with the hands in sandy soil. The two kinds of frogs which the Mitakoodi eat in the Cloncurry district are the jou-un or larger, and the nel-li or smaller variety.

122. Lizards are usually caught while running along the grass; Iguanas are generally dug up from out of the ground. The iguana-burrow is not vertical, but sloping, and very often in close proximity to some tree. These, like all the remaining animals and birds, to be successively mentioned, are eaten roasted, (sect. 156.)

Crocodiles (Mitakoodi pa-mi-ie-ra) are hunted by the Workoboongo in the upper reaches of the Leichhardt, with hand-spears: it must be remembered in this connection that the reptiles (Philas Johnstonii) found up here are of much smaller size than those (Crocodilus porosus) found lower down the river.

123. Snakes are sometimes found in an old iguana-hole or in burrows of their own. The aboriginals will eat a snake when killed by themselves or others: as to any avoidance whether the animal has previously bitten itself or not appears to be a myth on the part of the Europeans.

124. Fish are caught by various methods and contrivances, the most general throughout North-West-Central Queensland being with special nets. The material of which these nets are manufactured is some form of plant-fibre, e.g., native flax, (? Linum marginale, A. Cunn., Pitta- Pitta ka-lo) woven on a pattern identical with that in use by Europeans (sect. 153). The wooden needle, over a foot long, with a small lump of cementing-substance at either end, has no "eye" in it, the twine being just wound on and off as required: in the Boulia District, this needle is called the ka-kum-bo-le. No wooden mesh is used in their manufacture, the regularity and uniformity of each loop being dependent upon the skill of the maker. The size of the net-mesh varies, some nets having theirs larger or smaller than others: about an inch and a-half to two inches is a fair average. The sides of the smaller nets are rounded off so as to allow for the "concavity," when on the stretch. The smaller nets reach from 6 to 12 feet in length, the larger from 50 to 70 or 80 feet, the width varying proportionately from about 2 to 6 or 7 feet: for decorative purposes, they may be painted with transverse bands of alternately red and yellow ochre. The longer nets are not to be too often met with, and would appear to be brought to these parts by the Miorli boys, on the Diamantina, who make them. In the Boulia District it may be stated generally that when fishing in shallow water the smaller-sized nets are brought into requisition; when in deep water, the larger ones. With the former, where three or four may be used in conjunction, a long thin stick is attached along the sides of each, not only to keep them open, but also to allow of their being the more easily handled. Two men start into the water from the river-bank, with the net between them (Fig. 220, A) followed successively by another and another pair, and perhaps a fourth (B, C, D), each couple coming up from behind so as to overlap the one immediately preceding, and together forming a gradually more and more enclosed space, into which the "beaters" (K), from the front are driving the fish. The chief objection, if such it may be considered, to employing the small variety of net in this manner, is that so many people are as a rule required to assist. The Boulia District aboriginals, who make these smaller nets, call them ma-li: the Kalkadoon, who obtain them by barter, wun-to.

With the long nets, only two people are necessary, though more may lend a hand, who work it after the manner illustrated in the diagram (Fig. 221). A