Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/47

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Description of the Natives of King George's Sound.

The throwing-stick (meara) differs considerably in shape from those used at Sydney, being much broader. It is about two feet long, and four inches wide, narrowing at each extremity. At the handle is fixed a piece of gum (wank), in which is inserted a sharp-edged stone (tockil), which is used to scrape the point of the spear when blunted by use. At the outer end of the meara is a small wooden peg (mert), which is inserted into a hole at the end of the spear, and by which it is propelled. The meara is also used at close quarters in their fights.

The hammer (koit) is made with a lump of gum, having two stones imbedded in it, stuck on to the extremity of a short stick. It is used in climbing trees, in throwing at and killing animals, in breaking down grass-trees, and for the common purposes of the axe or hammer.

The knife (tăăp) is a stick with sharp-edged stones fixed in a bed of gum at the end, and for two or three inches down the side, forming a serrated instrument.

A short stick, which they call towk, is also used for throwing at or striking small animals, such as the quernde and tamur, the former resembling the bandicoot and the latter the walloby, or brush kangaroo of New South Wales.

The curl, or boomering, is seldom used as a weapon, nor are they so expert in the use of it as the New South Wales blacks. The natives, however, say, these instruments are more common in the interior. They are used for skinning the kangaroo, and also for amusement.

Their wigwams[1] (tourloits) are merely composed of a few small twigs stuck in the ground, and bent over in the form of a bower, about four feet high, and five or six wide. Sometimes two are united. They also thatch them slightly with the leaves of the grass tree. In rainy weather they are roofed with pieces of bark, upon which stones are placed, to secure them from being blown away; but they afford a miserable protection from the weather. They are generally erected in a sheltered spot near water, with the back towards the prevailing wind, and a fire is kept burning constantly in the front. One of the huts contains several individuals,

  1. The huts of the New Hollanders differ very materially among different tribes. Generally they are of very rude and simple construction. At Port Jackson they are merely formed of a strip of bark bent over like the roof of a house, and are scarcely large enough to cover the body. At Port Macquarie, however, they are of similar form to those above described, but of larger size, and, perhaps, neater construction. The form of the huts must depend very much upon the productions of the country. Where the stringy bark, the best suited for this purpose, is easily procured, as is the case at Port Jackson and the south-east coast, it is by far the best material for the purpose, for it affords shelter and warmth, and is impervious to rain. The settlers of the colony of New South Wales have found the utility of it, for all their cottages are roofed, and many are entirely covered in with it. P. P. K.