Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/567

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IX
541
INITIATION CEREMONIES, EASTERN TYPE

surged over to the west, uttering a sound like "sh" or "ush," long drawn out. The western man now, in his turn, struck his mound with a resounding blow, and all surged back making a rumbling sound; so they went on for some little time with the regularity of clockwork. This represents the waves breaking on the land, and rushing up on the shore, and the thunder answering it from the mountains.

Gunjerung now signed with his staff, and the masked figures, springing up, rushed to the novices, and commenced to dance to the words "Wirri-wirri-wirri," that is, "Quick, quick, quick." As they did this, one of the Kabos knelt behind his boy, with his right knee on the ground, and the boy sat on his left as a seat. The other Kabo came behind and drew the boy's head on to his breast, having his left arm round his chest, and his right hand over the boy's eyes. The Kabo kneeling on the ground held the boy's legs, his feet being in the holes.

From behind the bushes where he had been concealed, the Gommera Brupin now suddenly emerged dancing, bearing in one hand a short wooden club[1] and in the other a piece of wood about eight inches long and chisel-shaped at the end.[2] Being the representative of Daramulun, he was clothed only in a complete suit of charcoal dust.

The boy's eyes being covered, he danced into the space between them and the masked men to excited shouts of "Wirri" to which the other men were also dancing, and thus approached the first boy. He now handed his implements to the man nearest to him, and seizing the boy's head with his hands, applied his lower incisor to the left upper incisor of the boy, and forcibly pressed it upwards. He then, dancing all the time, placed the chisel on the tooth and struck a blow with the mallet. This time the tooth was loosened, and I could see blood. Some of the dancing-men now came between the boy and me, so that I lost count of the blows for a few seconds. However, I counted seven, and I think that there was at least one more. The tooth then fell out of its socket, and

  1. Bul-bul.
  2. Kuk-kum-bur.