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Australian Yahoo & Rock Dog (1904)

Australian Yahoo & Rock Dog (1904)

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Published by draculavanhelsing

Bathurst Free Press 1902 (June 19)

Bathurst Free Press 1902 (June 19)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jan 21, 2013
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Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1904), Thursday 19 June 1902, page 2

Aboriginal Traditions.




their only half savage wild condition, covering being a blanket carelessly At pro thrown over their shoulders. of whom the sent I am party writing are truly loyal adherents now
ot ine so
onuroa 01 inuc minister wno


(By Bobdad


Considerable interest is being taken in certain oiroles in Sydney in tbe early traditions of the Australian blaoks. are collecting all the Some literary men information procurable on this question will be of great value in wbioh
oiroles. was





in the past.

They have shown by this attachment that under a dusky skin there is as
muoh (aud I question if there is not more) genuine gratitude than in the of the white men. There is no oase they sense doubt that in a temporal have been preserved, and while, as a whole, the tribe may not be first -class
oitizens, strike




sent out

the Govern*

Australia the far as as Gulf of Carpentaria. associated members the The with blaoks in order to loam their legends and traditions, and at the same time to examine carefully into their manners Tho stories bere-under and oustoms. appended ura authentic) and have been related to me both by the blaaks them selves and also by others who oan vouoh for their truth. The aboriginals a ate and very superstitious raoo, throughout thore is an air of mystery and BtrangenosB about them. time I thought that thero At one aboriginala left in the Western no were district, but in this I was mistaken, for there are a few remnants of the Mulgoa still ana in Burragorang tribes Originally they were existence. blaok, somo but by of evolu process tion known to scientists they are now, without exception almost white and, in some individual oases the black strain has altogether. disappeared That these aboriginals do exist, I believe is chiefly owing to the aotion of a minister of raligion interesting himself in their behalf to the extont of prevailing to upon the Government grant them farms in the rioh valleys of Burragorang. Thore thoir wander* ing feet found a resting temporary place, and many settled there who have cultivated the land and are doing well. Not long since I was down at Burragorang and there met a party of peoplo. their their Unlike young anaestors, who in the habit of were marching along carrying with them a spear or boomerang, while the women trudged along bearing the loads like beasts of burdens, all being in a semi' condition, the aboriginals of nude

of South ment Australia or association to travel through













in vehioles or and the with considerable taste Their manners and general and care. deportment are equal to those of their this I oivilised brethren. When I saw struok with the contrast and was could not help thinking how different it was with their forefathers some fifty or sixty In the olden years ago. days I have met groups of them in a their half wild



they would not be far favored neighbours. below Father Molnrow has, by his ThoKev. disinterested aotion, gained a large aooession of adherents to his ohuroh, whioh will be to the spiritual advantage of the aboriginals 'themselves. The tradition the aboriginals have, concerning the formation of the Blue Mountains and the valleys is remark One of the older abor-ably strange. iginals has told me that the impres sion his tribe had was that a long time like great two God men, ago and Christ, while travelling together their threw over thess mountains boomerangs in the air. In their fall them they out the gorges as wo see to-day. They were journeying towards the north and travelled on into tbe To mark the end vecy oold country. of their journey they eaoh drove the they were .carrying into the spears When doing this the head of ground. the one spear broke off, and there the stand to this day. These they two dosoribe as the north and South poles. some My informant also gave me -? faots concerning the Yahoo,' I call to onnnofc mind the aboriginal for this animal. name The ' Yahoo,' all (as we know) is an animal said to resemble a man only that his body is his covered with long hair, and feet ore turned baok wards, tho toes being where the heel should be. Tho aboriginals really believe that suoh an animal exists and they are all afraid of it. My informant confidently believes is still living. that ono He, indeed, offered to take me to the plaoo where I oould see it for myself. He says this strange croaturo ia to be seen at tho Devil's Hole, a point about two miles describes this Ho from Katoomba. particular Yahoo as being large and strong, and I will hand over my
average their more



to visit soldiers,











while waiting for their, disohargs from the military authorities. A story is told by the blaoks that on ono an ooaasion aboriginal caught a Yahoo woman and took her to wife. Children woro

thp'r ouriosity

National Library of Australia


and took her to wife. Children woro born and rearod, but after a timo the tribo quarrelled over tho ^strangers and killed both mother and ohildron, The Yahoo is becoming anglisised, and likely, therefore, to oontinue his existence long aftor the blaoks bavo died out. Few, if any, of the white this animal, but its peoplo havo seen voioo has been hoard. On ono oooasion a gentleman was out walking amongst the mountains and had been out on tho neok, in the neighborhood of narrow tho Devil's Hole. Ho was belated and the shades of ovoning had sot in boforo ho left tho secluded spot. After ho reaohod home he informed bis Mends that the Yahoo had followed him all

it, the way homo. He had not seen but he could hear it quite distinctly following behind bim and frequently heard tbe ory ' Yahoo ! Yahoo 1' The effeot of this night's experience was forgotten never by my friend, and I firmly believe that it was no fancy on

his part.

Another strange animal about whioh informant spoke was the ' Book Dog.' This animal, he says, lives in a oavo to where the Yahoo is living. near Ho spends the day in tbe cave bat wanders out at night time and is a dangerous boast to meet. He bad seen tbe beast but bad heard it never barking at night time. It was desoribed as being about as big as a good sized is like the roar of a cow, and its bark my

the guess that the bairy man of oue aboriginal might be identioal with .the living in Japan, and hairy man now fast becoming extinot there. Then again may not the localities of these things have been in the land from whence the blaoks have oome, and their fanoies and fears may have assigned them fresh homes here. is There no doubt they bad a knowledge of what we now call wire less telephony, and could, and did transmit messages from one oamp to another through miles of Bpaoe. This gift was possessed by only a few. Again others had the power to cure beadaohe by passing the hand over the first informed head. I was by a Go vernment surveyor of their ability to transact messages. My informant has since been confirmed and in conversa tion aboriginals with some recently they further endorsed the statement. is tbe They say that not power possessed by half-castes to the Bame oxtent as messages, they did not hear words but felt sensations or vibrations; to indioate wbioh they understood certain things. Tho sensations were felt in the musolea of tbe arm, at the baok of the thighs and about the


might make












Away to tbe southward, in the wild country between Katoomba, BurragOn rang, Goulburn, Tuena, and Oberon, there lives on a high rooky mountain another raoe of men whom the blacks ' desoribed as the People of the Night.' This name has been applied to them beaause they go about only at night time. The aboriginals as a raoe dread the night, and being eo very supar stitious they fear to move about more than is absolutely after neoessary darkness sets in. The older raoe oi aboriginals knew the exaat locality of this mountain, but the younger of the tribe have forgotten. members The question naturally arises 'Are idle fanoioa on these mere the part of or are the aboriginals they the dim of Bhadows past realities lingering of past faots, distorted memories by diBtanoe-worn and shape altered by. the wear and tear of their progress down the streambed of ages. I inoline ta the belief that they are the latter. If we would let our imagination have free scope, then perhaps a very unsatis factory, far problematical, fetohed solution might be haphazar-7ed, and and wo

We see by these stories or fablea how superstition may 'bo transmitted to another and altered from one raoe in the process of time to Buifc different sets of ideas. Tako, for instanae, the is idea of the two spears, wbioh evidently baaed on the theory of the north and south poles as accepted by the white people.


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