Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/383

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347
Western Australia.

furious one, and the natives say I must not go. Later on I was occupied in bandaging lame William, who was dreadfully cut about in the fight. Four wounds with kylies, one just under the ear, a part of the lobe of which was carried away. The blood from the wound had poured all over his body. Just at his waist was another gaping wound; others across his hand and leg fill up the sum total. I had no idea he was thinking of fighting. Jack considers it must have been a tribal fight as so many were in it. The fight at first was for the possession of a woman. We hear that after Jack left the fight was resumed, and with spears, when police and trackers rode up and stopped it.

William tells us that the old girl who was beating the ground at the last fight on the antagonist's side was doing that in hopes of taking heart out of the enemy, and to put extra courage into the warriors of her tribe. Roebuck Bay tribe fought Cygnet Bay; kylies were flying around as thick as bees amongst the warriors; everyone had to look after himself, and even the black spectators had to clear once. It was a most impressive and awe-inspiring scene. They had come out to kill and went to work with a will. As soon as a man went down, if not too much hurt, he jumped up again, and although covered with blood, struck out for his opponent furiously. Our boy, lame William, fought like a fiend, but was struck by the first kylie, and went down, and although pouring with blood he was up in a second and with double hands on his walkerberri felled his opponent. Jack had to remove the man's hair before he could dress the wound, and to-day William brought it me made up into a belt, so you will see what a shock of hair he had.

We have become possessed of a couple of kangaroo-teeth which came off a child's hair, but are usually worn by women in wilgy (mourning) tied to their mud-plastered locks, falling in front of the eyes or even as low as the mouth. They are, I believe, worn as charms against evil spirits or ghosts. . . . . .