Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/400

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Notes on the Aborigines of Roebuck Bay,

down; then the men came up again singing and beating time with their feet, making a noise as of many horses galloping. Then they started a sinuous dance, waving the grass. First one fire was lit, then another, and Mary told us to get back a little, "plenty sand fly." We moved. At one part of the song the women all ran in to the circle of men and formed a round. The men still continued dancing, holding the grass in either hand; then with their nulla-nullas held above their heads, their bodies bending and straightening. Afterwards they danced, holding sticks aloft ready to strike, and with this dance the vocal accompaniment was that of the gruff baying of dogs. By-and-by a strike, a shriek, and a woman was hit. Finally, "phinish 'em," exclaimed old Mary. "White womanee go away now, he no good." So we left; but the Kobba-Kobba lasted until morning. The next evening we went again, but they said, "No proper Kobba-Kobba, white womanee come along," so we left. The other Kobba-Kobba mentioned was at full moon; this was new moon; that was quite distinct from this.

The eclipse came off, to the fear of many of the natives. It was a glorious afternoon; I used smoked glasses, but could see with the naked eye quite distinctly. There seemed such a rosy hue surrounding the sun, at times changing to yellow. After a good deal of persuasion Jack induced old Mary to look through glasses, but she was half afraid. Then she showed us a bit of blue stuff she had been looking through! Truly the natives are very wonderful, yet we call them ignorant savages. . . . . .

A Mr. Barclay has visited us, son of Sir James Barclay; he is in some way connected with the Perth Museum. He was greatly interested in all we had to show. One thing he told me I had not heard before. There had been several native fights on, and he said, supposing a man were hurt in a fight; if he wanted on his recovery to challenge the man who beat him, he put his knee up, and the victor, if he took