Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/178

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MORETON BAY. 165

describes huts of a very superior character, bearing a stronger resemblance to the wigwams of the North American Indians than to the temporary sheltering places of the New Hollanders, which he met with on the northern coast of Australia, indicating a higher degree of culture in the architects than belongs to the more southern tribes, and, as a consequence, indicating a more numerous and a more comfortable population. Aboriginals were continually met by the surveying parties who landed, the tribes being in most instances friendly and hospitable, although in some instances they displayed great ferocity and treachery, the life of the commander himself having been on one occasion placed in imminent peril by a spear hurled by a skulking black who concealed himself in a neighbouring scrub, and who succeeded in fixing his weapon in the shoulder of Captain Stokes. In the explorations of the Albert and Victoria Rivers evidences of a numerous population were constantly observed along the banks, the chief of which were several cemeteries, in which the dead were wrapped in sheets of bark and placed on hurdles elevated by means of forked supports. Passing round to Moreton Bay and Wide Bay, we find the strongest evidence in support of the supposition that the northern parts of the territory are even more thickly inhabited than the southern, in the frequency of the daring attacks of the aborigines on the stations and settlements, and in the numbers of aboriginals who have been made subservient to the