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Religion and Mythology

Regarding the religion of the aborigines, the evidence is somewhat conflicting. Certain it is that their legends are full of evil spirits and malignant demons which destroy men, women, and children. I think it is very doubtful if they have any knowledge of a beneficient God or righteous Creator. "Mullion" is a wicked being who lives in a high tree and seizes black fellows to devour in a higher abode, for he lives in the Milky Way.

Then there are some female demons who are much more cruel and implacable; one particularly who impales the poor black with her spear and carries him off wriggling and writhing to her den, where she roasts and eats him.

Then there is a famous creature called the Bunyip, a terrific monster, somewhat like our sea serpent. It is some fifty feet long, with a snake-like head and inhabits lagoons, rivers and swamps.

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The Bunnyar is another variety of the Bunyip--,which, as an American might say,--is a good deal like its horrible brother-demon, only considerably more so.

From the peculiarities of this evil beast, it is probable that the stories of the alligators in the North of Australia and in Queensland have penetrated to other parts of the Continent, and these formed the model upon which this terrible water demon has been constructed.

Piama, is in some districts a word which signifies the common ancestor of the black folk, and may bc taken to indicate a beneficient deity, and there are periodical celebrations and ceremonies which seem to contain the idea of a supposed conflict between good and evil influences.

It is, of course, unknown whether such religious observances have crossed over from Asia, or were invented on Australian soil.

Be that as it may, Christianity, the most potent engine of civilization, has undoubtedly proved its efficacy once more on the history of man in raising some of these wild natives so that they abhor their old degrading superstitions.

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