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in search of vegetable food, but there are always some of the old men and women in the camp. Each afternoon when the men return from the hunting or fishing expeditions, which have engaged them during the earlier portion of the day, the men of the local tribe start from the camp and walk away to the eeteemat, carrying a boomerang or some other weapon in each hand. They are shortly afterwards followed by the men of the other tribes, each mob starting in the order of their arrival at the main camp. On reaching the ring they look over the moombeera, the raised and carved figures on the ground, the warrangooringa, etc., and go through practically the same routine-and return to the burbung in the same manner— as on the arrival of a new tribe. On some days during their visit to the eeteemat, the bullroarer is sounded, and the men beat the ground with pieces of bark held in the hand. It may be that a few additional trees are marked on these occasions, or some improvements are made in the earthen figures, or any other extra work which may add to the embellishment of the ground.
As soon as convenient after the arrival of all the tribes who are expected to join in the ceremony the headmen assemble, and after a consultation among themselves they determine the day on which the novices will be taken away for the purpose of initiation. The Kooringal, or band of men who are to take charge of the ceremonies in the bush, are selected and the locality fixed where the women are to erect the new camp and wait for the return of the novices. On the morning which has been decided upon for taking the boys away, the whole camp is astir at daylight. The painting of the novices is now proceeded with, all of them being adorned with red ochre and grease from head to foot. Each boy is then invested with a girdle, to which four "tails" or kilts are attached, one hanging down in front, one at each side and one behind. They are then conducted into the būrbung ring and placed sitting down on the raised earthen wall, the boys of each tribe being in a group by themselves on the side of the ring which is nearest their own country. The mother of each novice is then seated outside the embankment a few yards behind where he is sitting; his sisters and the other women are placed on the ground a little farther back. A screen of boughs is erected between each group of mothers and their sons. One or more of the headmen now go along the groups of novices and throw a rug over the head of each boy. All the women and children are told to lie down and keep still, and are covered
with rugs, bushes or grass, which have been placed in readiness for the purpose. The women then commence making a low humming or chanting noise, and several old men armed with spears keep watch over them to see that no attempt is made to remove the covering or look about.
When these preliminaries have been completed, two men sound bull-roarers (yoolooduree or yeemboomul) in close proximity and a few other men come along the path and run round inside the circle beating the ground with pieces of bark, similar to those described in my paper on The Burbung of the Wiradthuri Tribes. All the men who are standing about the circle shout and beat their weapons together, a separate detachment of men being located near each group of women for this purpose. During the combined noise of the bull-roarers, the shouting and the beating of the ground, the guardians advance, and, assisted by some of their friends, raise the novices on their shoulders and carry them away, their heads being still covered with the rugs to prevent their seeing anything. The novices are taken as far as the commencement of the moombeera, where they are placed lying on the ground with the rugs spread over them. Here they are kept a short time until the women depart from the burbung, particulars of which will be given presently. This delay also furnishes an opportunity to the men who have been chosen for the kooringal to go on to the kooroorballunga and paint their bodies jet black with powdered charcoal and grease.
The novices are then raised to their feet and the rugs are adjusted on their heads in such a manner that they can only see the ground in front of them. Their guardians lead them along the pathway and they are shown the marked trees, the drawings on the ground, the fire, the squirrel's nest, etc., and are told to take particular notice of all these things. They are next conducted along the tracks of the emu until they reach the bird lying on the ground, as already described, around which some old men dance and all the people give a shout. After this they proceed to the eeteemat, and the novices are placed standing in a row. On being told to raise their eyes, they see two old men sitting on the warrangooringa exhibiting different substances out of their mouths, whilst some of the other men are dancing around the heaps of earth. An old man with a coolamin of human blood now approaches the novices and rubs some of the blood on their wrists. The guardians again bend
1 Journ. Anthrop. Inst., xxv, 308, Pl. xxvi, Fig. 40.
down the boys' heads and a start is made for the bush. The warrangooringa stumps are then pulled out of the ground and placed upon the fire, some of the men remaining in the vicinity until they are consumed.
I must now take the reader back to the burbung ring. Shortly after the guardians and novices get out of sight, the bushes and other coverings are taken off the women and children by the men who have remained in charge of them. They then gather up their baggage and remove to another locality, perhaps several miles distant, where they erect a new camp, each tribe selecting their quarters on the side of the camping ground nearest their own country. Before starting from the burbung, a pole is inserted in the ground in a slanting position, elevated and pointing in the direction of the place where the new camp is to be established. If this locality is some distance off, a long pole is used, making a considerable angle with the horizon, but if the camp is not far away, the pole is shorter and the angle of elevation less. The upper end is decorated by having a bunch of green boughs, grass or feathers attached to it. This indicator is left for the guidance of any natives who may arrive at the main camp after the assemblage has broken up.
As already stated, the novices have started with the men into the bush. They march along with the rugs projecting on each side of the face like a hood-their guardians being with them, and the other men following, making a considerable noise. During the afternoon they arrive at the place where it is intended they shall remain for the night. A semicircular yard is made of bushes or bark, and the novices are placed sitting on leaves spread upon the ground, their backs being toward the men's camp, which may be fifty or sixty yards away. This camp is called karpan. Between the men's quarters and the yard in which the novices are kept a space is cleared of all loose rubbish, and one or more fires lit to afford sufficient illumination. After the evening meal has been disposed of, the boys are brought out of their yard and are put sitting down facing the fires, while the Kooringal go through various pantomimic representations and traditional songs. These performances consist for the most part of imitating animals with which the people are familiar, or scenes from their daily life; and, like the ceremonials of other savage races, are largely mixed with obscene gestures. The animals selected include, amongst others, the totems of some of the novices, the headmen and the kooringal.
During the day the men go out hunting, to provide food for all the party, but the novices remain in the camp in charge of a few of their guardians. Several days may be spent in one camp, or perhaps a fresh camping place is reached every night, especially if game is scarce. In the latter case it would be necessary for the novices and guardians to accompany the rest of the men. The novices march along with the rugs on their heads, and when stoppages are made in the bush they are placed sitting on the ground with their hands clutching their genitals. On arriving at the place which has been agreed upon as the camping ground for the night, a yard is made for the boys in the usual manner. During the evenings at these camping places human ordure is occasionally given to the novices in addition to their daily food. If they want anything they are not allowed to ask for it, but must make a sign to the guardian who has charge of them. Some or all of the men who are not attached to the kooringal may go away for a day or two to another camping place some miles distant in quest of food, and contribute a fair share of game to the maintenance of the novices and guardians.
The period spent in the bush with the kooringal is about ten days or a fortnight, being regulated by the weather and other considerations. Different burlesques and songs take place every day, but the general character of the procedure is the same. If the wombat totem is represented, the kooringal crawl under a log as if going into a wombat's hole; if they select the scrub-turkey, all the men scratch the ground with their feet, kicking the rubbish backwards into a large heap resembling the nest of those birds; and so on for any other totems which may be represented.
When the course of instruction in the bush is nearly completed, some strange men, called irghindaly or wyendee, come from the ahrowanga, or women's camp. They belong to a distant part of the tribal territory, and this is their first participation in the ceremony. On approaching the karpan, they utter a weird noise, like the howling of the wild dog, and advance in single file, each man holding a leafy bough in front of him, which hides the upper part of his body. The novices are led to believe that a strange mob of blacks are coming to attack the camp. They are then raised to their feet, and placed standing in a row, with their guardians, some of the kooringal, standing on the right and some on the left of the row of boys, having the latter in the middle, holding their hands
to their ears. By this time the irghindaly have reached the camp, and form into a line parallel with and facing the row of men and novices. They jump and shake their boughs, and then, throwing the latter on the ground, they retire a few yards. The kooringal now step forward and pick up the boughs and strip the leaves off them, shouting wah! wah! while doing so. The irghindaly then consult with the headmen, and arrange the time for the return of the novices to the ahrowanga, after which they go back to the camp from which they have come, and inform the women when the boys may be expected. The mission of the irghindaly is analogous to that of the beegay of the Kamilaroi, described by me elsewhere, namely, to liberate the novices from the rigorous custody of the kooringal.
That evening at the karpan, by the light of the camp fires, some of the usual totemic representations are enacted by the kooringal, after which some of the old men chant Dharroogan's song. About sunrise next morning the novices are placed standing in a row beside the camp, with their eyes cast upon the ground. All the men then run about pretending to throw pieces of stick at a squirrel in a tree, and while they are doing so two men step into an open space and swing the yooloodury. The blankets are then lifted off the heads of the novices, who are requested to take particular notice of this ceremony. Some armed warriors now rush up to each of the novices in a menacing attitude, and caution them against revealing what they have been taught during their sojourn in the bush. At the conclusion of these proceedings, everything is packed. up and a start made toward the women's camp.
After proceeding some miles the party come to a halt at a waterhole or running stream. Here a fire is lit, and they partake of such game as may have been caught during the morning. By and by all the kooringal gather on the bank of the water-hole or creek, and one after another goes into the water, washing off the black coloring matter, after which they come out, and paint their bodies all over with pipe clay. During this time the novices are sitting on the bank of the water-hole-or near the fire if the day is cold—and do not participate in the washing and painting ceremony. This waterhole is one which is always used for the same purpose at every bürbüng which takes place in this part of the tribal territory, and is never used for bathing on any other occasion. The journey forward is then resumed, and one of the men goes on ahead to report that the bush contingent will shortly arrive.