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Bunyips

Bunyips

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Brisbane Courier 1932 (June 18)
Brisbane Courier 1932 (June 18)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jan 26, 2011
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12/10/2012

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The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864-1933), Saturday 18 June 1932, page 21National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21971425
¡I
;
The
MythicalBunyip.
I.--
=J
By
JAMESDEVANEY.
THE
bunyip
isas
closely
associated
|
as
the
boomerangwiththe
Aus-tralianblacks,
though
tothewhite
man
thiselusivemonsterhas
always
remained
something
of
a
mys-
tery
and
a
subject
for
controversy.
But
if
theEuropean
is
evenstillalittle
bewilderedanduncertain,
the
aboriginals
themselves
were
alwaysquite
definiteineverydetail
regard-ing
it.
The
firstsettlers
were
notlong
on
the
shoresofthis
new
SouthLandbefore
they
heard
strange
talesabout
a
vor-
acious
amphibian
creatureknowntothe
natives
as
the
bunyip.
Itdwelt
always
in
deep
waterholes,
rivers,
or
lagoons,though
some
coastaltribessaidthatit
inhabited
saltwater
as
well.Itcouldremain
submerged
a
very
long
time,
lying
in
the
softmud
at
the
bottom.
It
came
tothesurface
byday,usuallyduringcalmweather.
It
was
the
hereditary
enemy
or
bugbear
oftheblacks,andtookthem
as
food
whenever
a
chance
occurred;
and
itwas
particularly
fondof
snapping
uplubras
or
nativewomen.Thetribeskneweverywaterholethat
contained
a
bunyip,
andwould
never
swimthere;
and
they
declared
thatitshoarseandterrifying
roarings
and
gruntings
couldbeheardat
night
fromafar.Fromtheir
own
descriptionsof
it
the
bunyipresembled
no
animalknowntothewhitesinthis
or
anyother
coun-
try.
There
are
some
aboriginal
draw-
ings
of
It.
Oneofthese,theworkof
a
Murray
Riverblackfellow,
shows
a
huge,
swollen
body,
small
head,
andverysmallears,largeteeth,and
a
coatcoveredwith
what
appeartobescales.Insometribesthe
bunyip
was
saidto
clothed
in
feathers;
inothers
bylong
fur.
TribalTales.
T
ATERit
was
found
that
theblacksin
all
parts
of
Australiashared
the
same
beliefIn
thebunyip,though,
ofcourse,practicallyeverytribe
had
a
different
name
for
it.
It
was
the
Port
Phillipblacks
who
called
it
thebun-yip,and
white
men
everywhere
came
to
use
that
name.
IntheNorthernTerritory,inWest-
ern
Australia,in
Queensland,
thetribes
were
agreedupon
allmainpoints.The
bunyip
was
not
a
naturalenemylikethe
poisonoussnake,whichthey
could
understand.
It
wasnever
attacked,
for
all
agreed
that
it
had
supernatural
powers.In
some
detailsthebeliefsabout
it
variedin
differentpartsof
the
country.
Somesaidthat
itnever
went
wandering
about
on
dry
land;
others
statedthat
it
wouldleavethewater-hole,andhadoften
been
heard
scramblingheavilyabout
therocks,
scramblingheavilyabout
therocks,whenit
returnedwith
a
greatsplash-ing
tothewater.Certaintribesbe-lievedthatitdidnoteathumanbeings,but
onlyclasped
themtightlyandsank
with
them
till
they
were
drowned.In
some
parts
the
Europeans
were
inform-edthatthe
bunyip
was
always
in-visibleto
a
whiteman-that
onlyblacks
could
see
It.
All
agreed
that
itwas
bulky
of
body,
butnot
enorm-
ously
large,
and
that
it
killed
men
whenever
it
could.
Buckley'sTestimony.rpHE
most
remarkableevidenceof
allis
that
ofthe
ex-convict,WilliamBuckley,
who
escaped
when
the
first
penalsettlement
was
attempted
inVictoria,underGovernorCollins,andlivedfor
no
lessthan32yearswiththewildblacks.No
manever
hadsuch
an
opportunity
of
studying
thenatives
as
"thewildwhite
man,"
andheafter-wards
published
his
experiences
through
a
Mr.John
Morgan.
Thebook
appeared
in1852,
the
full
title
being:
"Lifeand
Adventures
ofWil-liam
Buckley;thirty-two
years
a
Wan-derer
amongst
the
Aborigines
ofthe
thenunexploredcountry
roundPortPhillip,
now
theProvince
ofVictoria."
SaysBuckley:
"In
Lake
Modewarre,
as
well
as
mmostof
theothers
inland,andinthe
deep-water
rivers,
Is
a
veryextra-
ordinaryamphibiousanimal,
whichthenativescall
Bun-yip,
ofwhichI
could
neversee
any
partexcepttheback,
which
appeared
tobecovered
withfeathers
of
a
dusty-grey
colour.
It
seemedtobe
about
thesizeof
a
fullgrown
calf,
and
sometimes
larger.The
nativeshad
a
very
greatdread
of
them,believingthem
to
have
some
supernatural
power
over
human
beings,
soas
to
occasiondeath,
sickness,disease.So
great
istheir
dread
that
on
discovering
one
theythrowthem-
selvesflat
on
theirfaces,
muttering
somegibberish,
or
fleeaway
asif
pur-
sued.
.
.
.
When
aloneIseveral
times
attempted
tospear
a
Bun-yip;
buthadthe
natives
seenme
do
soIt
wouldhavecaused
great
displeasure.
My'own
life
wouldprobablyhavepaidthe
forfeit."
Evidence
of
Whites.
rjpHERE
are
plenty
of
records
of
white
men
having
claimedto
have
seen
the
bunyip.
In1872the
newspaperseverywherecontained
accountsof
a
bunyiphaving
been
seen
on
the
Mid
geon
Lagoonby
a
party
ofwhites.It

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