Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/369

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333
Western Australia.

about just near our house. Two women wanted the same man in marriage. He had ideas of another woman, and consequently was running away from the first two. They were after him, and it ended up in having a regular fight over him. Such screeching and excitement amongst the other niggers! However, 'twas soon over; the man got off, and only returned to camp next day.

I have told you Billy belongs to Lagrange. The other day he came from his camp with his head bound round with a red handkerchief, and sticking out from the back was what I imagined to be a small kylie. However, when Jack came home, Billie in high glee presented him with the ornament, for that is what it turned out to be. He described it as a hairpin. The native name is Laurie. [Plate XV., figs. 20, 24.] As the language is an unwritten one, I do not know if I spell words correctly: the "a" in the word has a long, soft sound. He said, "From my country, master." A Sunday or two back Billie's father, by name Duncan, came with the mails from Lagrange Bay. (The natives by their known tracks cover the distance in three days' walking; it takes a white man five days on horseback.) His payment for bringing the mails was his food and a couple of sticks of tobacco. He remained here two days, during which time Billie gave him his Ki-ki[1] (very hard i), then went back.

Another correction to make is, that men and children go nude, but the women are different. Both Jack and I notice that however little covering they have elsewhere the breasts are always covered. I have only seen one or two women with breasts bare. They look comical with their covering, either a sarong or skirt, tied above the breasts and under the arms. The last few Saturdays and Sundays in the piece of ground near us there has been great kylie-throwing, and Jack has taken those we have for you out to be thrown; the natives immediately they touch them know if they be good—"that pfeller im no good"—"that pfeller go fishum." So

  1. Ki-ki, food.