Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/107

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94 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

present instance is the significance attached to a green bough, when carried as a propitiatory symbol, by the New Hollanders in common with the natives of nearly all parts of the world. That the carrying or bearing of a branch by a stranger in his first interviews with the aborigines is understood to be a sign of friendly intentions is a fact proved by the experience of more than one explorer and traveller. Captain Sturt, in the journal of his expeditions in South Australia, mentions the efficacy of the symbol in disarming, on more than one occasion, the hostility of strange tribes, securing a peaceable interview when all other means had failed. Travellers among the Indians of South and North America also mention that the carrying of a green bough by strangers is understood by the former as a token that their intentions are of a peaceful and amicable nature.