Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/106

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"STRIKING A LIGHT." 93

their wanderings, it is necessary that some method of producing fire should have been discovered. Necessity has pointed out to the aboriginal a simple and ever- available means of attaining this end by the friction of two pieces of a peculiar description of dried wood very plentiful in the bush. Ignition is produced by making a hole in one of the pieces, into which the sharpened end of the other piece is introduced; this is turned round with both hands with as much rapidity as possible, until the desired object is attained. As it often happens that it requires a considerable amount of friction to produce the fire, several blacks generally take part in the operation, seating themselves in a circle round the fire-stick and taking part in the work of friction by turns.

It would appear as though Providence had implanted in the breasts of all mankind certain particular instincts, feelings, and emotions, by which the kindred of the entire race may be incontrovertibly fixed, in anticipation of the false theories of those who would divide mankind into distinct classes, the one enjoying higher attributes, and, as a consequence, entitled to hold unlimited sway over the other. "One touch of nature makes the whole world akin" is a maxim as true as it is trite; but it is not only the manifestations of a common feeling which prove the kindred of the world. There are certain customs and certain symbols practised and understood by all the races of mankind which prove a common origin and common kindred none the less. That with which we have to do in the