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Aboriginal Sorcery (1891)

Aboriginal Sorcery (1891)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Morning Bulletin 1891 (Nov 27)
Morning Bulletin 1891 (Nov 27)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Feb 17, 2013
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Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Friday 27 November 1891, page 3National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52427053
SOJTB
XIOÉTOiia
.
OT.'.
AUSTRALIANABORIGINES.TheGentlemanMagasine
containsthefollowingnotes
onour
blackfellows
;
While
the
medicine
men,
"
black-fellowdoctors,"claim
the
powertohealdiseases
and
remove
spells,
they
are
also
prepared
to
infliotevil
for
acon-
sideration.
They
are
notonlydoctors(maykeeka),
but
wizards,
and
adeptsininagioal
arts.
To
enumeratetheirpracticeswould
CU
a
volume.Abriefnotice
mustsuffice.
Undoubtedly
theyunderstand,andmake
use
of,
thehypnotic
art.
Throwing
thesubjectsinto
a
deep
sleep,
they
will
compel
them
to
see
visions,
reveal
secrets,
and
even
pineand
die.
Thepossessionof
some
partofthebelongingsofthesubjectexpeditesthemagician'splan.This
is
less
wonderful
than
it
appears.The
imagination
hasgreater
power
than
is
supposed,especially
over
undisciplinedminds.
Some
black
seersare
popularly
supposed
to
be
able
to
command
theelemental
spirits,
fetch
backdeparted
spirits,
and
render
ghosts
visible
atcamp
fires.
Hypnotism
renders
this
explicable.
Of
thepracticesattributed
to
thesemen,thatof
"
taking
kidney
fat
"
from
theirvictims
is
mostfeared.Beliefintheir
power
to
accomplish
thisprevails
through
theentirecontinent.
Ininnumerable
instancespersonshavedied,believingthemselvesvictimsofthis
art.
So
real
does
it
seem,thathypnosis
is
clearly
at
thebasisofthepractice.
Thus,
amongthe
Kurnai,
thebrewin,
or
wizards,
are
thought
tocastthevictimsintosleepby.pointingatthem
with
the
yerttmg-a
boneinstru-ment
madefrom
thefibulaof
1
a
kangaroo.
Among
the
Wotjobaluk
the
victim,-
after
being
halfstrangled,
is
laid
upon
his
back
;
then'thebanged,
or
wizard,getsastrideof
his
«best,openstheright
side,
and
extractsthefat
from
thekidneys.
He-then
joins
the
cuts,
and,aftersinginghis
spell,
bites
them
to
render
the
opening
scar
less.
Af
ter
this
he
retires,
and
sings
a
magicalmelody
which
awakens
thevictim,
causing
himtostagger,wonder-
ing
how
he
came
tobe
"
sleepingoutthere."It
is
believedthat
by
partak-ingof
a
man'sfattheeateracquireshisvictim'sstrength.
So
also
itis
thought
thathumanfatbrings
good
hunting,
causes
spearsto
fly
true
to
their
mark,
or
the
waddi«todeal
resistless
blows.
For
men
who
can
accomplishwondersupon
the
humanform
divine,
"
rain-
making"
must
indeedbe
acommon-
placeundertaking.It
is,
therefore,notsurprising
to
findthat,
throughout
Australia,
wizards
are
credited
with
thepossessionofthis
power,
which
they
exercise
in.
variouB
ways-not
always,
it
must
be
admitted,withsatisfactory
results.
Inthe
Ta-ta-thitribethe
rain-results.
Inthe
Ta-ta-thitribethe
rain-
maker
usesa
pieceoftransparent
white
quartz,
whichhewrapsup
in
Emu
feathers,
having
first
broken
off
a
small
piece;
which
he
spitsup
towards
thesky.
Thequartzand
feathers
are
thensoaked
inwater,
and
afterwardscarefullyhidden.
Among
the
Myappe
theentrailsof
an
opossum
are
steepedinwaterfor
some
days
;
whendecom-posingthey
are
taken
outThis,
itis
believed,will
alwayB
cause
rain.
Or
a
nativecat
is
skinnedand
hung
ona
treefor
the
purpose.It
has
beenstated
that
the
Austra-
liantribes
are
wholly
without
religion.
This
is
an
error.
They
believethatthe
god
who
comes
down
atthe
boorrah
is
goodandpowerful
;
thathe
saves
them
by
hisstrength
;
that
he
is
veryancient,
but
never
growsolder.
TheMyooolon
tribebelievein
life,
afterdeath,in
Yalairy-theroad
to
which
is
the
Milky
Way.
Here
a
spiritwilllookafter
them,and
here
they
willfind
trees,
water,
game,
dogs,
and
their
women
and
children.
The
practiceof
knocking
outthetwofrontteeth
is
a
religious
one.
Those
who
havebeen
so
mutilatedwillhaveclearwatertodrink,whileotherswillonlyhave
muddy
water.
TheJump-up-white
fellow
idea,
or
reappearance
after
death
asa
whiteman,
is
likewiseindicativeofreligious
faith,
and
beliefin
a
life
afterdeath.
TheWathi-Wathi
believethattraps
are
setforthe
spirits
of
bad
men
;
if
they
escapethese
they
fall
into
hell-
fire.
TheTa-ta-thiBay
that
a
"
doctor
"
once
ascended
intothesky,
and
sawa
placewhere
wicked
menwere
burnt.
Tharanadun
is
believedin
as
the
Supreme
Being,
but
his
nameis
secret,
und
is
onlyimparted
at
the
initiationceremony.
The
women
onlyknow
that
a
great
spiritlives
beyond
the
sky
;
they
call
him
Papang,
or
father.
These
are
ancient
beliefs,
although
a
carelessobserver
mightdeem
that
theyhadbeenborrowedfromthe
white
men.
The
funeral
rites
ofthetribesfurtherindicate
the
existence
of
a
belief
that
men
die,
not
asa
dog
dieth.
The
tribes
on
the
Page
andthe
Isis,
whenaboutto
bury
theirdead,dig
a
round
well-likehole,
in
whichthey
kindle
afire.
When
itis
burnt,
they
carefully
collect
theashes
ona
pieceof
barkandthrow
themout.
They
then
intertho
dead
in
a
sittingposture.Itmay
be
this
is
an
analogous
customtothatof
someraces
whichbury
their
deadunder
thehearthstone.
Whatever
belongstothe
deceased-weapons,
rugs,
and
valuables
?-aro
buriedwithhim.
Then
logs
are
placed
across
the
grave
level
with
the
ground,
androofed
over
withbark,
upon
which
a
mound
ofearth
israised.
Serpentine
lines
are
carvedupon
two
treestothenorth-westof
are
upon
two
treestothenorth-westofthegrave.
They
saythe
"
blackwill
rise
upwhitefellow."
Among
the
EncounterBay
tribes
all
theaperturesof
a
corpse
arcsewn
up.
Thepersonwho
performtthisservice
runssome
risk
if
he
doesnot
provide
himself
with
a
good
string
os,
if
theBtringshouldbreak,
it
it
attributedtothedispleasureof
tilt
deceased,
who
is
supposed
tomakeknowninthis
manner
thathehasboer
charmedby
him.
In
the
samemannerif
thesmall
quill
used
asa
needle
fail!
to
penetratethe
flesheasily,th(
slightest
movement,caused
by
pressinj
i
thebluntpointintothe
flesh,ÍB
sup
posed
to
bespontaneous
motion
on
Hupartofthecorpse,andtoindicate
thai
the
sewer
hadcaused
thedeath.
TheWailwunmake
greatwailing
over
the
dead.
They
sometimes
?
keep.'
up
thenightly
lamentation
for
a
year
or
longer.AB
a
signof
mourningboth
sexes
plastertheir
heads
over
withmud
or
pipe-clay,
and
then
gash
themselveswithhatchets.Atthefuneral
they
dress
themselves
indifferent
styles,some
wearing
head-dresses.
When
a
fat
man
dies
they
place
his
body
in
a
forked
tree,
and
anointthemselveswiththegrease
which
drops
from
him.
They
suppose
thatthis
makesthem
partakersofhishealth,strength,
and
virtue.
They
eattheheart
and
liverofthe
dead
forthe
samereason.
Thistribeburies
its
dead
usuallyin
round
or
oblong
graves.
TheKamilaroi
cutfigures
on
thetrees
whichgrowround
thegraves,
as
marks
ofrespecttothedead.
Among
theDieyerietribecannibalpracticesof
a
disgustingdescription
arecommonas
partsoffuneral
rites.
The
reason
assigned
is
thatthenearestrelatives
may
soon
forgetthe
departed,and
not
be
con-
tinuallycrying.It
is
tobeobservedthatthesepeople
do
noteattheir
ene-
mies,buttheirfriends,
and
that
theydo
thisaccordingto
a
prescribed
rule.
This
is
theorderin
whichtheypartake
oftheir
relatives.
The
mothereatsof
her
children,
tbe
children
-of
theirmother.Brother-in-law
and
sister-in
law
eat
ofeachother.Uncles,
nephews,
aunts,
nieces,
grandparents,
andgrand-
childrendothe
Bame.
But
thefather
does
noteatofbis
offspring,
nor
theoffspringoftheirfather.
In
Wide
Bay
thebodiesto
be
eaten
are
first
skinned,
and
the
skin
is
wrappedround
a
bundle
ofspears.
This
relicis
carriedabout
with
the
tribe.
In
the
nativewars,in
some
partsofthecountry,the
men
who
are
killed
are
eaten
by
theirfriends.If
they
die
fromwoundsduring
thenight
they
are
eateninthe
morning.A
largehole
is
dug,
and
the

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