Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/743

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
XI
717
TRIBAL EXPEDITIONS

carrying them secretly, so that no one may see what they are. The people who have come with the boy, and the people of his own place, seat themselves opposite to each other; the old Neyi of the boy who had called the people together, by means of the Kani-nura, being so placed that he just faces the boy, who is seated on his father's lap. The Neyi holds the Kani-nura cord against the breast of the boy, and says, "Why did you find the Kani? You must not think that you have any longer any Neyi or Kaka (elder sister) in my country, any more than there will be a Kani-nura when the fire has burned it." Then he breaks the cord and throws the pieces into the fire. The people who have come together for the ceremony then exchange their things, and lastly the Neyi of the boy, who sent him to his country, and the Neyi who took care of him, exchange theirs.

These ceremonies take place whenever a little boy finds a Kani, or one of the small lizards called Tiubba-tiubba and Kadiwaru.[1]

Bartering was also practised by the Wiimbaio, with the blacks from higher up the Darling River, who occasionally brought down wood of the mulga tree for spear points, slabs of stone, and hard and heavy pestles of granite for pounding and grinding seeds and tough tubers. These they exchanged for nets, twine, or fish-hooks.[2]

When the people who attended the great tribal meetings of the Wotjobaluk were about to depart to their homes there was an assembly at the Jun, or men's council-place, where they exchanged the articles which they had brought for the purpose. These articles were such as the following: Sets of spears, respectively called Guiyum-ba-jarram, or jag spear, and reed spears; opossum skin rugs, called Jirak-willi (opossum skin); men's kilts, called Burring-jun, made of the skin of the kangaroo-rat (Goiyi), or padi-melon (Jalla-gur); armlets worn round the upper arm, called Murrumdat-yuk; wooden bowls called Mitchigan; in fact, all the implements, utensils, arms, and ornaments used by these people. It was to such a meeting that the Jajaurung man,

  1. O. Siebert
  2. J. Bulmer.