Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/381

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351
Western Australia.

few inches of Morgan. He fenced it with his shield. The third one, however, struck and cut his leg, and he retired for short time. Returning, he threw two or three more. Then came the wangie about the spear, which was not taken on, and the fight was over. The warriors retired, and very soon the place was clear. All night the victor was feasted, whilst the vanquished one's friends condoled with him.

The wooden mask of which we have become possessed is not only difficult to obtain but very rarely possessed by a white man. We hear they are not used here, but come from the interior. It is used at the ceremony of man-making. It is placed over the face of the boy after the ceremony is over, and for fourteen days he has to wear it, not showing his face to anyone. Every line on the mask is "talking," telling why the boy is wearing it and so on. During the time the boy wears the mask, an old gin is told off to feed him by means of a tube thrust under it and into his mouth. Just inland, some thirty or forty miles from here, across the plain, the youngsters bind up the wounded organ with a piece of kangaroo hide, and the girl who marries him is entitled to that piece of hide. She would sooner part with her life than that.

The natives make glass spear arrow-heads from bits of broken bottles by simply chipping with a piece of flint. Two of the specimens we are sending were made by our boy William, and we saw him making them. They are certainly not well finished, for the simple reason that his tribe are more versed in the art of kylies (boomerangs) and wooden spears. Two specimens as marked[1] are just begun and a third also marked in a further stage of completion. These are from Roebuck Bay. The rest were given us by Father Nicholas, head of the Catholic Mission at Beagle Bay, which is away up in King's Sound, and in the North Kimberley district. I have also sent you a specimen to show how the head is stuck on just with mud mixed with sap

  1. In our collection. C. J. T.