Page:Moyarra- An Australian Legend in Two Cantos, 1891.djvu/96

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90

MOYARRA

chief was taken from some place, or borrowed from a tree or flower. Another name was then given to the place, or to the tree, and the old word disappeared.


5(p. 67). "Till the hand of thy foe from his vile carcase torn."

It was the custom in some tribes to cut off the hands of their slain enemies, and carry them as trophies of prowess. This custom led to curious misconceptions when colonists saw the trophies, and imagined that all the tribes were cannibals, although most of them were not. Some of them were. Those who were not recoiled with disgust from those who were. In Taplin's Folk-Lore of South Australia are recorded instances in which a few tribes were bound by their superstition to a repulsive ceremony. They were not bound to devour a dead relative, but certain close relations were compelled to take a prescribed morsel, however minute, of the deceased, as a token of duty.


6(p. 72). "Thy turbulent stream. Tiara, prone."

The chasms or gorges which are found on the east of the mountain range which separates the waters of the Macleay and other rivers from the waters which form the tributaries of the Darling, and which were known among the early colonists as "The Falls," were thus described by their discoverer, Surveyor-General Oxley, in 1818.

"We had seen many fine and magnificent falls, each of which had excited our admiration in no small degree, but the present one so far surpassed anything which we had previously conceived even to be possible that we were lost in astonishment at the sight of this wonderful natural sublimity, which perhaps is scarcely to be exceeded in any part of the Eastern world."