Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/50

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Description of the Natives of King George's Sound.

when the animal stoops or turns his back upon them, they hastily advance, keeping a bush between them for concealment. As they approach their prey they move very lightly in a stooping posture, and only at the time when the noise of the wind prevents their footsteps being heard. Should the kangaroo turn round and observe them, they instantly stop and remain perfectly motionless until he resumes his feeding. In this way they approach within a few yards of their prey, and then pierce him with their spears. The instant he falls they run up and dispatch him with their hammers by blows on the head. The first operation is to extract the two front teeth of the lower jaw, which they use to sharpen the spear points; then they seize the tail, and taking the end in the mouth, bite off the tip, and, by pulling, extract the sinews which are inserted in it: these are bound round a stick and dried for use, either for the purpose of stitching the mantles, or tying the barbs on the spears.

Another mode of hunting the kangaroo, when the huntsmen are numerous, is by surrounding and gradually approaching the game until they get sufficiently near to spear them.

They are also sometimes killed in woits, but this plan is more used for the small or brush kangaroo. In this case a portion of the brush is surrounded, and each person begins breaking it down and treading over it, so as to make a complete road all round, carefully stopping the runs of the animals. One or two of the hunters then go in with their dogs, and as the game attempts to pass the clear spot, they are entangled in the brush and knocked on the head. In this way they sometimes kill a great many; it is practised almost entirely in the spring before the burning season eommences, but it requires a number of people, and the whole of the males of the tribe are generally present.

Both the large and small kangaroo are caught in pit-falls, set in wet places. These pit·falls are described by the natives to be covered over with bushes and lightly sprinkled with soil. This method is mostly used in the interior.

The emu is speared chiefly in the winter, at which time they lay their eggs. When a nest is found, the hunters conceal themselves behind a bush near it, and endeavour to secure the male bird first. The female they are pretty certain of, unless she has been disturbed, when she will forsake the nest. Emus, however, are not very often procured by the natives, but, with the kangaroo, are highly esteemed as articles of food. Lizards, also, afford a favourite repast; and, at some seasons, form a considerable portion of their food. There are three species that are eaten—the largest, called munnāar, appears to resemble an iguana found at Sydney; it is long, and generally very lean and lank. At one season, how-