Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/404

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Notes on the Aborigines of Roebuck Bay,

they were all right. After that the blackfellows knew how to make fire.

The Tale of the Big White Bird, Gillemurrango.

(Bower Bird.)

There was a big white bird, and he was a very strong bird, and he could throw the spear, but he was a wicked bird. He said to some blackfellows, "I will show you how I can throw the spear." So the blackfellows came to the corrobboree, but before they came he buried his long spear under the sand. When they came, and were going to sit around, he said, "No, you must not do that, you must sit in a row." After a time they sat in a row, and Gillemurrango began to dance and sing, and as he danced and sang he kept pulling the spear out of the sand, so the black fellows should not notice it. At last he got it all out, and he was just at the end of the row, then he took a good aim and drove it through all the tribe, and killed them. By-and-by he told another lot of blackfellows he would show them how he could throw the spear, and he killed them all. At last he told a third tribe he was coming to make corrobboree. Now this tribe were very frightened, because they knew how Gillemurrango had killed the other tribes, so they thought they would make a big shield and try and save themselves. Then they looked around and found and cut themselves a shield out of a big tree. After they had roughly fashioned it[1] they threw three spears, nulla-nullas, and boomerangs at it, but it cracked, so they knew that wood would not do. They then got a shield of harder wood, and then tried that, but that cracked too. At last they found some very hard wood, and they formed a shield roughly of that, and threw all their weapons at it, and they all broke on it, it was so very strong. They finished it, and then they waited for Gillemurrango, first hiding the shield under some bushes so that he should not see it.

  1. Cf. the description of boomerang-making, ante, p. 326.