Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/382

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Notes on the Aborigines of Roebuck Bay,

from the white gum-tree. The half-dozen kangaroo bones are taken from the fore-arm of the animal, and are used by the men as a decoration for the hair. The large bone is used to plug through the nose. [Plate XV., figs. 25,30.] The pieces of pearl-shell with kangaroo teeth attached are used by the women as a charm against sickness, and are generally worn round the neck. The wilgy, a piece of mud suspended by a hair from the beard of a warrior, is used on state (sic!) occasions only. It is attached to the forelock of natives about to be engaged in combat, either for tribal or local affairs. Kelly has given us a carved kylie from his country, and also a necklace, and this is what he told me the necklace signifies. When a woman wants to annex a man she wears the necklace round her throat; and when the marriage is consummated the necklace is put on one side and is only worn on special occasions, such as Kobba-Kobba. I asked Jack to get him to tell why sometimes they wore the necklace round the neck, sometimes round either one or both arms crossing the bosom; he says it is only a fanciful decoration, and does not signify anything. [Plate XV., fig. 14]

Just lately our boy Kelly prepared for and went on his month's holiday. He had provided a substitute, who, however, did not turn up. Now I have what you would consider a most interesting pair—lame William, who is most horribly dirty over all his work, but very willing, and already I am glad to say has improved, and Fred, who is covered with wilgy, being an engaged man. Both work bare to the waist, and are covered with weals—tribal marks. Fred is nephew to the King "Ross," whose acquaintance we have made since Fred has been working for us, and who has invited me to a big Kobba-Kobba this moon. Ross has sfiven us a splendid hair-belt; the king also gave me a fine necklace Pollie his wife sent, as well as a shell charm, which was twisted by a long hair string round and round his neck, and the bit of shell stuck in his hair. [Plate XV., figs. 2, 28.]

Jack and a friend, a Mr. Baines, whom he brought in to tiffin, have just gone to a native fight; it is I believe to be a