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Melville and Bathurst Islands.--Description of graves.--Decoration and erection of grave posts.--Mourning ceremonies.--Dancing round the fire.--Driving the spirit into the ground.--Description of ceremonies performed at the grave.--Special bark armlets and discs worn and carried by the women.--Colour decorations of men and women.--Kakadu tribe.--Death and burial of a woman.--Morlil ceremony, in part a purification ceremony.--Smoking the dilly bags.--Painting with charcoal.--Second part of the Morlil.--Women wearing armlets called Kundama.--Special names for certain relatives of the dead person.--Barter associated with mourning ceremonies.--Waduman and Mudburra tribes.--Tree burial.--Laglauer ceremony.--Dead person's totem must not be eaten until special ceremony performed.--Larakia tribe.--Tree burial followed by ground burial.--Mungarai tribe.--Tree grave.--Lurkun ceremony.--Bough coffin.--Ceremony on ceremonial ground called Kalal.--Lurkun shown to the women.--Mara tribe.--Eating the flesh of the dead.--Burial of bones in tree grave.--Gathering the bones, skull smashing and burial of them except arm bones.--Lurkun ceremony and final disposal of bough coffin.

IN certain respects the most elaborate mourning ceremonies that I have seen amongst the different tribes were those of the Melville and Bathurst Island natives. They are also interesting because they differ so completely from any on the northern mainland and seem to point to the fact that the island natives have either developed these

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ceremonies amongst themselves or have derived them from some other people with whom they, but, apparently not the natives of the mainland, have come in contact. It is well known that the natives on these Islands erect grave-posts that are often elaborately decorated with, designs of a nature peculiar to them. So far as I am aware, the mainland tribes have no similar custom, but enough is not known of the northern coastal tribes to speak with certainty. In most respects the Melville and Bathurst people are closely allied to those inhabiting the Coburg Peninsula and the country south of this along the Alligator Rivers, and the existence of these remarkable burial and mourning ceremonies on the two islands is very difficult to understand.

Thanks to the assistance of my friend, Mr. R. J. Cooper, who has for many years past lived on Melville Island, and to the opportunity of visiting the Mission station, recently established on Bathurst Island by the Society of the Sacred Heart, under the management of Father Gsell, I was able to witness and secure records of these quaint and interesting ceremonies. It is due to Mr. Cooper,[1] who has great influence with the natives, that white men, during recent years, have been able to visit these islands with impunity and it is not too much to say that his presence on Melville Island has made it possible for the Missioners to found their station on Bathurst Island within sight of his little settlement, across the narrow Apsley Strait that runs between the Islands.

In July, 1911, I paid my first visit to Melville Island

[1. Years ago Mr. Cooper, who was speared by the natives, was obliged to leave the Island, like everyone else who, up till that time, had tried to form, a settlement there. The natives are physically very robust and were fierce and very resentful of any white man landing until, some years ago, when Mr. Cooper at length succeeded in establishing himself amongst them.]

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in company with Dr. Gilruth. On that occasion,[1] witnessed, thanks to Mr. Cooper, the erection of gray posts and the mourning ceremonies. These I briefly described but, in March, 1912, on Melville Island, and again, in December of the same year, on Bathurst Island I had a much better opportunity of watching the ceremonies. On the first of these two occasions, that is in March, 1912, it was near the close of the wet season and the natives at the same time performed a special and important yam ceremony, associated with the initiation of the young men. It rained in torrents every day and the damp, muggy climate made anything like satisfactory photographic work, out in the dripping wet scrub, very difficult. In December, the rain season was just setting in, but I was able to secure some good records, both with the ordinary camera and the cinematograph.

When any man or woman dies on these Islands and, apparently, whether it be a man or a woman makes no difference, the body is buried in the ground. Tree burial seems to be unknown amongst them. They merely make a grave about four feet deep, clear the ground immediately around it and place sheets of stringy-bark on the top of the low mound of earth that is heaped up (Fig. 50). For some months it is left alone, then they go out into the scrub and cut down trees to make grave posts. The illustrations will serve to show what these are like. Each of them is from nine inches to a foot in diameter and they vary in height from about five to twelve feet. Some of them are merely posts but every grave has a certain number that are more or less rudely shaped. In some cases only a few, perhaps three or foul, are erected during the first mourning ceremony, others are added at intervals, the final number being, apparently,

[1. Bulletin of the Northern Territory, No. 2. April, 1912.]

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about twelve. Thirteen was the greatest number that I counted, on what was, evidently, an old grave, because the colour decoration had all disappeared and the posts were gradually rotting away, some of them having tumbled down (Fig. 51). The natives told us that, when once they have completed the ceremonies, they took no further trouble with the grave and, from the appearance of the old ones that I saw, there can be no doubt but that this is so.

As you travel across the Islands you come, every now and then, across these strange graves, right out in the lonely scrub, far away from any camp. Sometimes a space has been cleared round them, or they may be made in a small opening amongst the gum trees and the graceful palm-like Cycads, but, as often as not, they are in the thick scrub and bush fires have swept over them.

In the early days the posts were cut down and shaped by means of stone tomahawks; now the work is done with iron hatchets. At every grave there are one or more posts through which a rectangular space has been hollowed out, leaving, on each side, a thin slab which supports the upper part. The latter is often surmounted with a knob, standing on the end of a narrow column, or with a curious double-pronged structure, which may possibly represent a head or two jaws. Almost every grave has one of these pronged posts. On every grave also there are, normally, one or two posts, notably taller than the rest, and on these are placed, in the case of women, bark baskets, that they have used for carrying food and water. They are simply placed, in an inverted position, on the top of the pole and there they are left until, in course of time, they rot away or a bush fire destroys them. The finest graves that I saw were two, placed side by side, in a small opening amongst the trees

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close to some swamp land in the southern centre of Melville Island (Fig. 51). They were evidently old, because there were only traces of the original colour left on the posts. One had eleven and the other had thirteen posts round it and the space enclosed by each series measured eight feet in length by four in width. The natives who were with us did not show the slightest concern about them, evidently because they were old ones and all the necessary ceremonies had been performed long ago, but, on the other hand, when, later on, we came across a low mound, with no posts erected and just a sheet of stringy-bark laid on it, they immediately set to work and cleared away all the grass and herbage growing close around the grave (Fig. 50).

After the posts have been cut down and fashioned to the desired form, the base of each is, first of all, well charred, and then they are fixed upright in the ground and painted. In the two series that I saw painted, the designs varied very much and anyone who desired to do so was allowed to assist in the painting, even small boys took a hand in it (Plate X). Black, yellow, white and red were the colours used and the decorations consisted of bands, running in wavy or spiral lines down the posts, or of longitudinal bands between which there were oval designs, arranged in rows. down the length of the post. Each man decorating a post, chose his own design, and, while the work was in progress--and it occupied many hours--the men were continually laughing and talking and everyone in the camp, men, women, and children, were gathered round watching the progress of the work. Further details with regard to the designs are given the chapter dealing with Decorative Art.[1]

[1. The first figure of these graves published was the one in my preliminary report, "Bulletin of the Northern Territory," No. 2, 1912. {footnote p. 233} In the journal of the Anthropological Institute, Vol. XLIII, 1913, Dr. Basedow has illustrated some of these posts. The designs in these drawings are typical but the yellow and red colours are much too vivid, more especially the yellow which is always of a somewhat dull ochreous tint. A slight reference to these graves was made by Campbell, Proc. R.G.S. 1826, p. 158. He describes them as being circular in outline with upright poles.]

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When the painting was done, all the natives gathered round the posts and began to dance, the mother of the dead man, smeared all over with red ochre, taking a prominent part. When this preliminary dance was over, the posts were lifted out of the ground and carried into the scrub, where they were deposited for a time, about a hundred yards from the grave. A large fire was lighted, giving off great clouds of smoke, and, first of all, on this occasion, two old men, who were tribal fathers of the dead man, went into it so as to singe the hair off their legs and arms. They must do this or else they will be seriously ill. Then all the men ran round and round in the smoke, after which they gathered together and came on rushing towards the grave, yelling and throwing sticks and spears ahead of them. The idea of this was to drive the spirit, called mapuditti, into the grave. The women and children ranged themselves to one side, some of them wearing the curious armlets made of stringy-bark with remarkable projecting decorations, others carrying ornaments like great circular discs, out of which, in most cases, the centres had been cut (Plates VIII and IX). Each of them was made of bands of pliable reed or cane, over which human hair string had been wound. The string was coloured red, yellow, and black, and often had masses of beeswax, into which were stuck bright red Abrus berries, while tassels, ending in knobs of wax, decorated again with Abrus seed, hung down. The larger ones measured as much as fifteen

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inches in diameter. In general shape they are More like great flattened-out quoits than anything else. During the ceremony, and these armlets are apparently only used in this connection, the women wear them on their arms, for which in almost every case they are much too big. They can only be kept in place by pressing the arms against the side of the body and bending them at the elbow in a very characteristic fashion (Fig. 52). Some of them are large enough to go round a woman's leg. The discs are held in the right hand, which is raised up high when the women dance, during the ceremony.

After the men had come to the grave, they set to work and cleared away all the grass that had grown on and around the mound, and then dug holes for the posts (Fig. 54). This over, they stood quietly to one side while some of them went to where the posts had been deposited and brought them in one by one. The number of posts erected at any one ceremony varies to a large extent; there may be only one, or there may be several. When they were all firmly fixed in the ground, the men ranged themselves in a line close behind the grave, the women and children standing to one side. The men were decorated in various ways. Some of them had their bodies covered with red, others with yellow ochre, some with charcoal, others with lines of red and black or black and yellow. The women during the ceremony on Melville Island, which was concerned with a dead lubra, had the upper halves of their bodies painted red and the lower yellow, the leading one, a comparatively young girl and sister of the dead woman, had, in addition, the whole upper half of her face painted black. Two of the older men looked especially fierce and weird. They had very curly hair, almost frizzly, and had decorated themselves with lines and bands of yellow, red, black, and

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white, so as to cover not only the whole of their faces, but their hair and beards as well. They were very pleased with themselves and when, after the ceremony was over, I took a rough sketch of one of their heads to use as a colour key to a photograph, the other was most anxious that I should do the same for him. They both took themselves very seriously and evidently thought that they had made a strong impression on us, which, as a matter of fact, was quite true, because they looked about as wild and fearsome as human beings well could.

The performance began with the father dancing round and round the posts with his hands behind his back and his head thrown well back. While he danced he sang:--

Piti wa mi
Ra du du re
Piti wa mi
Ra du du re

ending always with loud shouts of Ia! la! E! E! the last very loud and prolonged. During the whole time of dancing, the men, standing in a long line, were singing and stamping furiously. The stamping is done in time to a very characteristic action which consists in every man striking his buttocks with the open palm of his hand. They become very excited and, far away in the bush, you can hear this peculiar striking sound, because the time they keep is perfect. After a pause, the father came on again, this time dancing right over the grave, in and out amongst the posts. A third time he came on, representing now a crocodile. He crouched down, low on the ground, walking on hands and feet, with his body fully extended. Every now and then he lifted his head, peering about from side to side as if he were looking about for his prey. This continued for some time, his acting being very good indeed and

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then, jumping to his feet, he was joined by two other men, one covered from head to foot with yellow ochre, the other with black, and then the three, with their hands clasped behind their backs and their heads thrown well back, rushed wildly round and round the grave. After a time they slowed down and then, coming in from one side, the women, led by a young girl, who was sister of the dead woman, took the lead and, very solemnly, danced round the posts. On Bathurst Island, during a similar ceremony, the women stood to one side and, at intervals, while the men were running round, they passed across and back again on the side of the grave opposite to that on which the men were standing. Every woman wears a curious apron (Fig. 55). It is made out of a more or less circular sheet of paper bark folded over to form a semicircular one. The paper bark is very soft and pliable and is always held in place by the elbows, which the women press against their sides, in a very characteristic way. It has not, apparently, struck them that a string, run through the fold and tied round the waist, would save them a good deal of trouble. Some of the women held the quoit-like ornaments in one hand which was lifted up, while the other kept the apron in place. One or two of them carried a picaninny on their shoulders, the little one hanging on to its mother's hair as she pranced across from side to side. I have been quite unable to find out what is the meaning of these discs and armlets., but they are always carried during these ceremonies and are, I believe, only used in connection with them.

For a time, the father, who had been very greatly exerting himself, joined the audience; he was nearly played out and the two men, the black and the yellow, took up the running, rushing round and round, pausing

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every now and then to face the posts and yell Boo! whrr! whrr! wildly at them. Then they stopped dancing and bent down, pointing at the grave in which the spirit was supposed to be watching them. The women formed into a procession and, with their deliberate movement and peculiar high knee action, danced round and round the audience of men who, as usual, were keeping time, striking their buttocks, stamping and singing. On Melville Island one man, but on Bathurst Island, about a dozen men performed a buffalo dance. They came out to one side of the grave, on to a cleared space and there they imitated, wonderfully well, the actions of the animals. Each man had his arms lifted up and curved round to represent the long horns. They rubbed themselves against the grave posts and trees, just like the animal does; browsed quietly about or pawed the earth up, with their heads down, as if they were angry. Finally, they all grouped themselves together, ran to the grave and circled round and round it. After a rest, the father came on again and, after dancing round furiously, fell down flat on the ground, beside the posts. Four other men came up with short spears and, after peering about from side to side, in a stealthy way, crept up quietly to where the old man was supposed to be asleep and, suddenly, speared him through the chest. He writhed about on the ground while all the men and women danced round. This of course was supposed to represent the killing of a native by enemies who had crept on him unawares, while he slept. Another very weird dance was supposed to represent a fight. All the men came to the side of the grave opposite to that on which they had been standing. Then they began prancing about in the most extraordinary fashion, men on the left side would suddenly rush across sideways to the right and

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vice versâ. Every now and again a man would jump up in the air as high as he could (Fig. 56). Even one of the older men would spring from the ground until his loins were on the level of the shoulders or sometimes the heads of the men amongst whom he was standing. This over they returned to their first position. After a short pause the father, together with the men painted black and yellow, respectively, danced round and round, gesticulating wildly and yelling loudly, while time after time they threw small spears into the side of the grave. Once more the lubras joined in and then the yellow-ochred man performed a prolonged dance with frenzied movements, stamping and yelling and raising the dust, while he pounded round and round, urged on by the yelling and stamping of the excited natives who were keenly watching him, until, thoroughly played out, he fell down on one side of the grave. Even then the dance was taken up by three others, two rushing round one way and one the other. It was now late in the afternoon; the sun was low and the shafts of light that pierced the scrub threw long shadows from the gum trees and Cycads on the group of weird figures dancing wildly in the luminous dust. It was in vain that I tried to secure some records of the scene but, under the shade of the scrub and gum trees and in the yellow light of a tropical evening, my camera was useless.

The sun was setting, but on and on they danced. All that we could make out of the singing were refrains such as these,

Yu, Yu, la, We, Ya,
Wi, A, We, A; A, We, A,
Ia, Ia, Ia, with a final prolonged E!!!

At length the performance came to an end. All the men took part in a final wild dance round the grave, the

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women moving slowly round and round on the outside until, suddenly, the men bent down, yelled at the mound with all their might, and ceased dancing (Fig. 53). For a few minutes there was silence, the men gathered round the grave-posts, leaned against them and over the mound, and then, in single file, passed away through the darkening forest.

At a later time, I saw the same ceremonies on Bathurst island and was able to use, more or less successfully, the ordinary camera and the cinematograph, but, though a considerably larger number of natives took part, there was nothing quite so picturesque as the first ceremony that I saw on Melville Island.

Apart from the short final scene, when they were clearly supposed to be mourning, there was certainly not the slightest indication of sorrow. Everyone was very excited, but, between the dances, they laughed and talked as if they were taking part in an ordinary corrobboree, and it is evident that the whole ceremony is carried out with the object of pleasing the spirit of the dead person and also, at the same time, of intimating to it the fact that they expect it to remain quiet and not trouble them.

In the Kakadu tribe, while I was working amongst the natives at Oenpelli with Mr. Cahill, a woman named Muranga died in the camp. Early in the morning we went down to see what was happening. The camp was under the shade of a Banyan tree and the body, wrapped in paper bark, lay to one side, men, women, and children sitting and standing around, looking very solemn and only speaking, when they had to do so, In whispers. The husband of the dead woman was seated with her head on his knee, while her two sons, one grown up called Wariut and the other a young man named Mungortja, sat at her feet where, also, close by,

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was the wife of her son Wariut, named Minborku. The body had been wrapped in paper bark by the husband, husband's brother, and eldest son, but not the younger one, who was not allowed to touch it.

Two men, named Majeralak and Wudeirti, neither of whom was closely related to the dead woman, lifted it from the ground and carried it away on their shoulder, through the scrub while we all, men, women, and children, followed in single file (Fig. 57). There is no obligation for any special men to carry the body and, if it has to be carried a long distance, any member of the local group may take his share in the work. After walking about a mile we came to a large rock by the side of which they laid the body down. This spot had been selected by the husband for the grave and, when we reached it, all the women and children and most of the men retired to one side and sat down. Three or four men set to work to dig, but after some time they came down on to bed rock and so a new grave had to be dug a yard or two away. This time they were successful and a trench, about four and a half feet long and two and a half wide and three deep, was dug with the aid of sticks and hands. There are no special individuals who are supposed to take part in the digging, any grown man is allowed to help. The grave itself is called Keramu.

When the exact site had been selected and before digging actually began, the women and children were summoned and came up, led by one of the older women named Kumbainba. She carried in her hand a shell that the natives commonly use for holding water or ochre, but, on this occasion, it held a few small stones which she jingled about as the women and children followed her in single file round the grave. This walking round is called Kulorbuto. As they walked round they sang the

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following words, which were supposed to be addressed to the spirit of the dead woman:--

Tjukororu, lie down; koyada, don't, ngeinyimma, you, workai, come back; tjukororu, lie down; kala, a word meaning all right, just so, etc.; bialilla, children; unkoregora, see; iwaiyu, spirit; balera, later on; kujeri, sick. That is, "You lie down quietly, do not come back, lie down all right--if the children see your spirit, later on they will be sick."

When the grave was approaching completion, three women, one of whom was the daughter-in-law, Minborku, went into the scrub and gathered armfuls of grass stalks and leafy twigs and, returning, placed them by the grave. When the trench was ready the husband, her two sons, and Minborku sat by the side of the body, which was still wrapped in paper bark, and cut their heads till the blood flowed down their faces on to their bodies. Three of the husband's brothers, named Mirriu, Mitjunga, and Kamerana, unwrapped the paper bark from around the body. Kamerana went down into the grave, arranged a thick layer of grass stalks and leaves, and trampled them down. The body was laid on the ground, face downwards, with the legs bent back at the knees. Then it was placed in the grave, lying on its right side, and a thick covering of grass stalks and leaves was placed above it. After this the soil was piled over it so as to form a small mound on which stones were firmly placed to prevent the dingoes from burrowing down in the loosened ground (Fig. 58). While this was going on and after it was over, everyone wailed and cut themselves freely--men and women alike-until the blood flowed.

Some of the blood from the husband and his two sons was collected in a small piece of the paper bark in

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which the body had been wrapped and, folding the remainder of the bark round the belongings of the dead woman, such as dilly bags, mat on which she lay and digging stick, which had been brought to the grave, brought the parcel back to camp and placed it in the Banyan tree close to the spot on which the woman had died.

All men who take part in the burial ceremony and cut their heads on the occasion, must, a little later on, take part in what is called the Morlil ceremony. Not only Is this the case in regard to the particular camp to which the dead person belonged, but, often in other camps, when they hear of the death of any special person, they will cut themselves and then, at a later time, will also perform the Morlil. The ceremony is really divided into two distinct parts. In the one that I saw, the woman died on July 1st; the first part of the Morlil was held on July 4th, and the second part on July 22nd.

It is a very interesting one and is, in part at least, of the nature of a purification ceremony. In connection with the first part everyone in camp brings up all of his or her possessions; the women bring their mats (nini-bura-bara), baskets (mangul), dilly bags (quiappa), and digging sticks (worbai); the men bring their spears, spear-throwers and tomahawks, though now-a-days, even amongst the Kakadu, the old stone axe is practically a thing of the past. In the centre of the camping ground, where the woman died, a circle of grass stalks was made about eight feet in diameter. Around this, the dilly bags and baskets of all the women in the camp were hung on sticks, or on tree trunks, close by; the men's weapons were arranged on the ground. Within the circle of stalks were placed, first the bundle of paper bark, or ranken (Fig. 59), in which the dead woman had been

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wrapped and carried to the grave, secondly, her belongings, mat, dilly bags, digging stick, baskets, thirdly, two or three palm-leaf baskets full of water, and, fourthly, a similar basketful of charcoal that must be made from a special pea-bush. The ordinary name for charcoal is kunbelji, but that used during the ceremony is miornai.

First of all, on one side of the ground, a special fire was made and the dilly bags of the eldest surviving sister were placed close to it, so that the smoke from the fire passed over and through them. The bags were thus purified and could be used again to hold food. The latter must not be placed in them, after the woman's death, until such time as they have been thus smoked. If this were not done and anyone should eat food carried in them, the result would be serious illness and very likely death to anyone who ate food that had been carried in them. After this, the grass stalks were lighted and the men who were to paint themselves went inside the circle and, while the smoke curled round them, they lifted up the baskets containing water and poured this over one another's heads (Fig. 60). At this particular ceremony the pouring of water was continued even after the fire had burned down and only a ring of ashes was left. The paper bark in which the body had been wrapped and all the dead woman's belongings were burnt in the fire, and afterwards the ashes were completely and very carefully covered over. In the case of a man his weapons are broken up and then burnt in the same way.[1] In most tribes all the belongings of a dead person are the property of some special individual, such as a mother's brother, but here they are all destroyed.

[1. The Kakadu have a word, ardi, which means the total personal belongings of any individual.]

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After the water pouring is finished, the men take the charcoal or miornai, and rub themselves all over with it (Fig. 61). No woman paints at this part of the ceremony but all the men must, or else the spirit of the deaf person would be angry and they would become ill. Only black must be used. The women bring in numbers of little cakes, called munduaii, made out of lily seeds. These were eaten by the older men only, the Umulakiri, or younger men, are not allowed to eat them.

The second part of the Morlil is concerned mainly with the women. As before, everyone is supposed to bring all of his belongings into camp. The women's are placed on one spot, the men's on another, but nothing is done with them, and after the ceremony everyone simply takes away his own things. The description given to us of the ceremony before it was enacted was very brief but very accurate. It was as follows: Ngaia (1), nunborgi (sorry), wariji (dead or underneath), ngaia (I), wariji (cry), murora (old woman), wunmali (mud), gibu widjeru (all over), korto (arm), kundama (bracelets), ikiti okita (other or each side), geraiwin (young lubras), bialilla (children), kutjeri (red ochre). This meant that all were very sorry, that the older women would paint themselves all over with yellow ochre or mud and wear the special form of bracelet, called Kundama, on both arms, and that the younger women and girls would paint themselves with red ochre.

This was exactly what happened. The natives assembled under the shade of a clump of trees, this time away from the camp at which the death had taken place. The women were grouped together in one spot, the older ones coated with mud or yellow ochre. Each one wore two or more of the heavy armlets called Kundama (Fig. 62) These are made of a circlet of pliable cane twisted round

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with a coarse string made from the fibres of the bark of Banyan tree, the native name for which is Mukinoborbu. They are never coloured or decorated in any way, and, in this respect, differ markedly from the elaborate mourning bracelets of the natives on Melville and Bathurst Islands.

The women had brought in large supplies of lily-seed cakes, which were eaten by the older men, who were standing and sitting around. Nothing special was said or done, but everyone was very quiet. Narriyut, the eldest son of the dead woman, said to another man, named Bandiki--who was his tribal brother, and hence a tribal son of the dead woman--"Ngeinyimma (you), niorki (white), kala (all right), ngeinyimma onje koiyu (you another mother), ngaia miorni (I black), koiyu widjeru (proper, or very, mother)." That is, Bandiki could paint himself with white at this ceremony, but Narriyut and his younger brother, being own sons of the dead woman, continued to paint themselves in black. Another man, named Romula, who had been absent from the camp when the first ceremony was performed, also painted himself black. The men who have previously painted themselves black at the first ceremony are supposed to paint themselves white at this ceremony, except in the case of close blood relatives who, as above-mentioned, will continue to use black. The latter is practically the same as deep mourning, and the white half mourning.

As amongst other tribes, when anyone dies their name not mentioned and they are referred to, if there be any necessity for doing so, as "the old man" or "the old woman." If anyone, by chance, should mention a name they say, "monowei, koyada tjikaru narama"--"dead, do not say his name"; "ameina, mornda japul"--"why do

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you do that? It is bad talk." If a lubra mentions it, any son or brother of the dead man may strike her. At the first ceremony of Morlil, nothing but black may be used, but at the second, some individuals paint themselves black, others white.

During the course of the ceremonies, and until the period of mourning is over, certain relatives are called by special ceremonial names:--

The sons of the dead person are called Numulaiju.

The brothers of the dead person are called Noudbukara.

The husband's brothers, or husband, are called Nunkudumuramuran.

The sisters of the dead person are called Inudbukara.

The wife of the dead person is called Inkudumuramuran.

If, for example, anyone wishes to call out to Narriyut, a son of the dead woman, to come and get food, instead of saying, as he would under ordinary circumstances, "Narriyut preya jamo," he says, "Numulaiju preya jamo."

The third of the mourning ceremonies in the Kakadu tribe is known by the name of Kuderi and is carried out after the first rain season succeeding the last Morlil ceremony.

Everyone in camp brings all his ardi--personal belongings--to the ceremonial ground. Once again, everything belonging to the women is placed at one spot and everything belonging to the men at another. The women bring in supplies of sugar-bag, lily cakes, and yams and these are placed on two or three mats. All present sit down, wail, and work themselves up into a state of great excitement, the old women hammering themselves with sticks. The women also wear the ceremonial armlets called Kundama. Everyone is painted with red ochre and gradually they work themselves up into a state of great excitement and anger. The men

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ask each other who "stole his korno?" That is, who killed him by evil magic. The question is repeated time after time. After this has gone on for some time the women and children return to their camp, taking their belongings with them. The men above the status of Numulakiri, eat the food provided by the women. Their spears, supposing there are a good number in camp, are brought up and arranged in bundles on the ground, in just the same way in which the grass stalks are at the first Morlil ceremony, that is, they are roughly in the form of a circle.

In some curious way this ceremony has become associated with a system of barter. What is the connection between the two it is difficult to understand, and, of course, the natives have no idea of it. Each man then states what he wishes to secure in return for his weapons. Nothing more is done that day, but, next morning, messengers start off carrying the spears to a distant camp; the Kakadu people send theirs to the Umoriu people, for example. If there should happen to be any men from this distant camp visiting the Kakadu, they will carry the spears back with them to their own country, but, otherwise, special messengers will be sent. Arrived in the strange camp, where the meaning of their coming is well understood, the spears are placed on the ground in bundles, each one containing those belonging to one individual, and the visitors are asked what they want in exchange for them. There appears to be a regular, well-recognised, tariff, and, if the bartering takes place, the goods that are being exchanged for the spears are placed opposite to their respective bundles. When the business is over the men gather the different articles together, return to the home camp, and distribute what they have brought back amongst the owners of the

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spears. In due time many of the articles will again be bartered for spears. It is by means of this system that the natives in one part of the country, who are especially skilled in the making of one implement, such as spears, receive others that they, perhaps, do not make themselves, owing, it may be, to lack of suitable material.

In the case of a young child the mother carries the bones about with her in a dilly bag. In Fig. 63 are represented the total contents of the small bag represented in Plate XXIV., Fig. 4. I found it in possession of a woman of the Kakadu tribe who was camped by the side of a lagoon at Oenpelli near the East Alligator River. The child was evidently very young, and some of the skull bones, all of which were disarticulated, were missing. The upper jaw was missing and all the facial region. The lower jaw has the two median incisors, no others have cut the jaw as yet. The two femora were present, measuring four and a-half inches in length. Two shoulder blades, humeri, radii, ulnas, tibias, and fibulas are present, as well as a broken fragment of the pelvis, parts of the vertical column, and eighteen ribs.

A few locks of the child's hair were wrapped in a little piece of cloth.

The other contents of the bag, which contained all the woman's belongings except her digging stick and mat, were (1) a small mass of her own hair which had been cut off preparatory to being made into string, (2) two pairs of fire sticks, (3) two kangaroo incisor teeth in wax, (4) two loose kangaroo incisors, (5) a small Jump of red ochre, (6) a small stone, evidently used for pounding, (7) a bone awl (?), (8) one valve of a fresh-water mussel) used for cutting and scraping.

Whether the flesh of the child had been eaten or not I

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could not find out, but it is very probable that such was the case. I did not know when securing the bag that there were any bones inside it, and the woman parted with it readily for half a stick of tobacco--without any hesitancy.

In the Waduman tribe when a man dies the relatives, called Kadujgo (fathers) and Kamomo (mother's brothers), carry the body out into the bush and place it on a platform of boughs built in a tree. This tree grave is called Balbalba. As usual, all men and women in camp are wailing, and those whose duty it is to do so are cutting themselves. At a later period, when all the flesh has disappeared from the bones (wune), the Kamomo men, usually four in number, go to the tree, wrap the bones in paper bark, and carry them to a special camp called Laglauer, the usual name for a camp being Ludma. The lubras, meanwhile, have been out in the bush collecting food, which is brought in and placed in the middle of the camp. The four Kamomo men place the parcel of bones by the side of the food and retire a little to one side, while all the others in camp sit round and cry. After a short time they paint themselves, and when this is over the women go to the food and hand it to the men. Everyone on the ground eats some of it. There are certain women who do not come to the special Laglauer ground, but stay in their own camp; amongst these, in the case of a dead man, are the Ingauiu (wives and brothers' wives) and Idukal (wives' mothers). Nothing apparently is done to the bones, which, after the usual crying has taken place, are taken back to the tree and left there finally.

A curious feature associated with the mourning ceremonies in the Waduman and also the Mudburra tribe, which adjoins it, is that, after the death of any individual,

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his totemic animal or plant may not be eaten until after the performance of a little ceremony that takes place three or four weeks after the final placing of the bones in the tree grave. When this is performed one or two old Kadugo (fathers, father's brothers) and Nababa (father's fathers) go out into the bush and secure some of the totemic animal or plant of the dead man. If he were a flying fox man (gambin), for example, they capture some flying foxes. The members of the tribe have, meanwhile, gathered together at the Laglauer camp, to which also a supply of food has been brought by the women. A fire is made in the centre of the camp and the men bring the flying foxes in and place them on it. The Ingauiu (wives and brothers' wives) come up to the fire and, after calling out Yakai! Yakai! put their heads in the smoke arising from the fire, while the foxes are being cooked. An old Kadugo man hits them lightly on the head and then holds out his hand for them to bite a finger, which releases them from the ban of silence under which they have been since the death. When this is over they go back and sit amongst the other women. The same man then gives the cooked foxes to the Kamomo (mother's brothers), Pukali (mother's younger brothers' sons) and Tjuga (sisters' sons) and tells them that they may eat it. After this everyone is free to eat it and the yams, lily cakes, and other food, brought in by the women, are eaten by the men.

The dead man's belongings, collectively called kaning--spears, spear-throwers, knives, etc.--become the property of the Kamomo (mother's brothers), that is, they pass to the mothers' side of the tribe.

When a child dies in the Larakia tribe. the mother carries the bones about for a long time and then place's them in a hollow bough of a tree, so that wild dogs

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cannot touch them. Later on the bones are buried in the ground.

The bodies of men and women are first of all placed on platforms in trees. These tree graves are called maird-burrima. At a later time, when no flesh is left on the bones, the latter are wrapped in paper bark and buried in the ground. Stones are placed round the grave. . The stones are called lamilla, and the hole in the ground kau-ukwa. The Larakia, however, are now, and have been for many years, so hopelessly decadent that it would be unsafe to depend upon information gained during recent years with regard to their customs) except in general outline.

In the Mungarai tribe the body of a dead person is placed on a bough platform in a tree, this tree grave being called nadiri. When only the bones are left the mother's brothers (ngagung) and their sons (namminjerri) go to the tree. First of all they take some of the long bones of the arm and wrap them up in paper bark. These they give to the mother, who keeps them for some time, perhaps for four moons. She then hands the packet back to her brother, who makes arrangements for the final Lurkun (or Lurgun) ceremony. Lurkun is the name of the bough coffin in which the bones are finally placed, and the same name is given to the ceremony itself. The coffin is simply a section of the bough of a gum tree that has been hollowed out by white ants. It is prepared, and the bones are placed inside it by the ngagung (mother's brother).

A special ceremonial ground, called Kalal, is made in the form of a ring. Here the men, who have decorated themselves, assemble, no lubra being allowed to come anywhere near. This takes place late in the afternoon, and two men are despatched to the lubras' camp to procure food supplies that they have collected. The food

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is distributed on the ceremonial ground, and then all the men perform totemic ceremonies accompanied by the clanging of boomerangs. The lurkun is decorated with a design of the man's own totem; for example, if he be a lizard man, a lizard drawing will be made, and, also, the ceremonies performed are those belonging to the totemic groups of his own sub-class and the one associated with it. if the dead man were a Ngaritjbellan, then the ceremonies will be those associated with totemic groups of this and the Ngapungari sub-classes.

A fire is lighted on the Kalal by a man of the same totem as the dead man, and he also takes two sticks from the fire and strokes the Lurkun with them. All the men then rise to their feet and sing out Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! After this the coffin is removed from the ground and carried round by several men, who cry Ma yai; Ma yai ending with a final prolonged Srr! This is late in the evening, and the Lurkun is once more placed on the ground, where it remains all night long, the men sitting round it striking boomerangs incessantly. In the early morning it is lifted up and placed on the head of a namminjerri man, who carries it thus at the head of a long procession of the men, walking in single file, towards the lubras' camp. Everyone cries out, Oh! Oh! ss yai! ss yai! Oh! Oh! Sr yai! and each man holds a boomerang between his arms, behind his back.

A hole has been made in the ground in the middle of the lubras' camp, and the Lurkun is placed upright in this, the men retiring to one side and sitting down, about fifty yards away. The lubras weep and wail for some time and then walk away, leaving the Lurkun in the hole, from which it is taken by the namminjerri. This completes the ceremony, and, when it is over, the Lurkun is placed in a

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hole in the rocks in some secluded spot, the locality of which is known only to the older men.

As Mr. Gillen and myself have already described,[1] eating the body of the dead is often practised amongst the coastal tribes on the Gulf of Carpentaria. As can be imagined, it is a subject on which the natives are very reticent; in fact, unless you know them fairly well, they will, when questioned on the matter, either know nothing whatever about it or deny the existence of the practice in their own tribe, whilst admitting, at the same time, that it does exist amongst others.

The following is an outline of what takes place in the Mara tribe, and my informant, a Mara man, who had considerable knowledge of other tribes, said that the same custom was practised also in the Yungman, Nullakun, Mungari, Kallaua, Binbinga, and Willingura tribes.

If a young man or woman, in fact any except the really old, dies, the body is first of all wrapped in paper bark by a namminjerri man and is left thus until the morning, when a big fire is made in a hole in the ground, and stones are heated on it. The hair is first of all cut off and burnt, none of it being kept. Paper bark is put on the stories, then the body and then another layer of bark, and the hole filled in. The cooking is always done out in the bush, far away from the main camp. All the preparations must be made by the namminjerri men, and while they are in progress the other men sit round and watch. The lubras, though not tar away, are not allowed actually to see, though they know, what is being done. When the body is sufficiently cooked, the namminjerri take it out and place it on fresh sheets of bark. It is then cut up by the same, men (mother's brothers' sons.)

[1. Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 546.]

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Everything is regulated by custom thus:--

A Mumbali is eaten by Kuial and Murungun men and women.

A Kuial is eaten by Mumbali and Purdal men and women.

A Murungun is eaten by Mumbali and Purdal men and women.

A Purdal is eaten by Kuial and Murungun men and women.

If, for example, a Mumbali dies, a Kuial man (who is a mother's brother of the dead person) tells the Kuial and Murungun women to go to the cooking ground.

My informant told me that everything, including the intestines, was eaten, and it is evident that the practice does not appear to them to be in the least degree revolting. I have never come across any tribe in which cannibalism pure and simple, that is, killing human beings for the purpose of eating them, is practised, but amongst the above-mentioned and doubtless many other northern tribes, almost every individual, whether death be the result of natural causes or due to violence, is eaten.

When the feast, which the participants certainly enjoy, is over, the bones are carefully collected, wrapped in paper bark, and placed on a tree platform called kallakalla.[1] If, for example, a Mumbali man dies, then Murungun men actually put them on the platform, while Kuial or Purdal men, his mother's brothers, stand below. As soon as anyone dies, the camps are immediately shifted, because the spirit, of whom they are frightened, haunts its old camping ground. The spirit part of a living man is called jalkarra, and of a dead man padinia. For a long time after death the padinia roams about

[1. in the Nullakun tribe this is called Mungalla, and in the Allaua Allagalla.]

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watching whether the mourning ceremonies are properly carried out. When all has been done properly, then it goes back to what is called its Waidba, that is, its original home in the far past times.

The bones are left in the tree for some time, but after perhaps three or four months the father of the dead person says to the men who placed the bones on the platform, "You go and see, the bones are all clean now." The two Murungun men, if the bones be those of a Mumbali, climb up, open the paper bark parcel, and rake the bones out on to sheets of bark on the ground where the Kuial or Purdal men are standing. All the bones are pulled apart, the skull is smashed into fragments, and everything is buried except the long bones of the arms. Then all the men in camp come up and the tree is burnt. The arm-bones are wrapped in bark, and are carried by the namminjerri men to where the lubras are sitting down wailing, and are handed over to the mother, who sits with them across her legs. The wailing is kept up all night long. Next day the women grind up lily seeds and make a large cake with them. The mother's brother secures sugar-bag and, late on in the afternoon, the men and women sit down together, the men having meanwhile painted themselves. Food is distributed, and the women continue wailing. After this the mother may keep the bones for as long as two or three years.

The ngagung (mother's brother) decides when to hold the final ceremony. He takes the bones from the mother and carries the parcel to the men's camp, where the namminjerri have made ready a log coffin decorated with a design of the man's totem. All the day is occupied with singing and decorating. At sundown the father and mother's brother go to the lubra's camp and carry back to the ceremonial ground the supply of lily

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roots and cakes that the lubras have prepared, and after the men have eaten, the ceremonies begin.

The coffin, or Lurkun, both ends of which are closed with paper bark, is placed upright in the ground. The father comes up with two firesticks, one in each hand, and rubs the coffin all round. Then everyone dances and yells, Yo! Yo! Yo! While they dance they all carry firesticks, lifting their hands up and down. One after the other the men all rub the coffin. Some sit down. but others go on dancing for a long time. Finally, they all sit down and singing continues all night. At sunrise they get up and, with the namminjerri carrying the coffin in the lead, they walk in single file to a camp made by the lubras. This camp is roughly circular in outline, and has a raised margin with an opening left at one place, through which the procession passes. A hole has been dug in the centre, and close by this sit the mothers and sisters of the dead man, the other lubras being arranged in a circle round them. The namminjerri comes up to the hole, places the Lurkun upright in it, and then the men file out and sit down about fifty yards away. The men take away and eat the cakes of lily seed that the women have made during the night. The lubras, after weeping and wailing for some time, rise to their feet and leave the Lurkun, which is never actually touched by them. After they have gone right away, the namminjerri once more takes the Lurkun, and the men return to their own camp. The coffin is hidden, sometimes it is placed by the namminjerri in a hole ill the rocks on the hillside; at others it is placed in the boughs of a tree, overhanging some lily pool, until such time as it is washed away by a flood.

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Next: Chapter VII: Magic and Medicine